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News > Lebanon

Lebanon Suspends Cultural Cooperation With Sweden and Denmark

  • Lebanon’s Hezbollah supporters take part in a religious ceremony, Beirut, Lebanon, July 29, 2023.

    Lebanon’s Hezbollah supporters take part in a religious ceremony, Beirut, Lebanon, July 29, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @avsec_pro

Published 31 July 2023 (1 hours 51 minutes ago)
Opinion

In other news that had domestic repercussions, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh ended his 30-year tenure amid charges of money laundering.

On Monday, Lebanon announced the suspension of cultural cooperation with Sweden and Denmark in protest against the desecration of the Quran in the two Nordic countries.

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"The Culture Ministry suspends all cultural cooperation with Sweden and Denmark and their embassies in Beirut until the two countries' authorities take appropriate measures to correct the incident," Minister Mohammad Wissam Mortada said.

"We expressed our strong condemnation of such offensive practices more than once... the heinous act would not have taken place without official permissions," he added.

Denmark and Sweden have been under the spotlight in recent weeks after several extremists repeatedly burned or desecrated the Quran, the Islamic holy book, in the two countries' capitals, which sparked wide criticism from Muslims across the world. 

In other news that had domestic repercussions in Lebanon on Monday, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh ended his 30-year tenure amid charges of money laundering and embezzling public funds in Lebanon and abroad against him.

On Salameh's stepping down, Lebanon's financial losses exceeded US$72 billion, more than three times its gross domestic product in 2021, according to the World Bank.

The Central Bank's first vice governor Wassim Mansouri confirmed himself as the acting head of the central bank starting on Tuesday, as Lebanese authorities failed to appoint a successor to Salameh. He said no government financing would be approved unless he is convinced.

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