Lebanon's prime minister-designate steps down in blow to French plan
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Lebanon's prime minister-designate Moustapha Adib abruptly resigned on Saturday, amid a political impasse over government formation.
The move also deals a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to break a stalemate in the crisis-hit country. The announcement by Adib just under a month after he was appointed to the job under a confessional political system, further delays the prospect of getting the foreign economic assistance needed to rescue the Middle Eastern country from the brink of collapse. Adib told reporters he was stepping down after it became clear that the kind of cabinet he wished to form was "bound to fail." Meanwhile, Macron has been pressing Lebanese politicians to form a cabinet made up of non-partisan specialists that can work on enacting urgent reforms to extract Lebanon from a devastating economic crisis worsened by the Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut port. Commenting on Adib's resignation, an official in the French leader's office described it as "a collective betrayal" by Lebanon's political parties. Lebanon is in desperate need of financial aid but France, the United States and other international powers have refused to provide funds before serious political reforms are made. The crisis is largely blamed on…