Winston-Salem Journal: Ap

Nov 23, 5:02 AM EST

Lebanese PM Hariri assures bankers stability comes first

AP Photo
AP Photo/Bilala Hussein

BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has told a regional banking conference that the country's stability is his primary concern.

Thursday's remarks - a day after Hariri suspended his resignation - sought to assure the Arab Banking Conference in Beirut that Hariri's government would ensure Lebanon remain a top Mideast destination for finance.

Hariri stunned Lebanon and the region by resigning on Nov. 4 while in Riyadh, raising fears of market panic and recession.

But he told President Michel Aoun on Tuesday that he will stay on to allow for "consultations" that would seek to safeguard Lebanon's delicate political system, stretched by competing agendas by Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh told the conference Lebanon's economy is on track for a 2.5 percent growth this year.

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