Lebanese president defies U.S. and French pressure, rejects new government | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Lebanese president defies U.S. and French pressure, rejects new government

Lebanese President Michel Aoun rejected Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's proposal for a new government, prompting Hariri's resignation and deepening the country's political crisis.

Why it matters: Lebanon's political stalemate is contributing to the country's economic collapse, and caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has been pleading for international help to avert an imminent “social explosion." But key international players say they'll withhold aid without a new government and economic and political reforms.

Driving the news: Hours before Aoun rejected Hariri's proposal, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had sent a joint message to the Lebanese president stressing the need to form a new government as soon as possible.

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