Lebanon's President:
Coming Days to Bring Positive Developments

BEIRUT (Dispatches) – Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun says the coming days will bring "positive developments”, Lebanese broadcaster Al Manara reported on Tuesday.

Lebanon has been witnessing protests against the ruling political class and their corrupt practices for the past 30 years.

Protests have so far succeeded in toppling the government while protesters vowed not to leave the streets until they see a formation of a new cabinet capable of dealing with their demands including the trial of corrupted politicians.

In another development, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has lifted a mysterious "hold” on more than $100 million in security aid for Lebanon, congressional and State Department officials said, more than a month after lawmakers learned the funds were being blocked.

As first reported by Reuters, the U.S. State Department told Congress on Oct. 31 that the White House budget office (OMB) and National Security Council had decided to withhold $105 million in foreign military assistance, without providing any explanation.

As lawmakers demanded answers from the administration about why the aid had been withheld, some compared it with a similar decision from the administration to withhold nearly $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine that also had been approved by Congress.

That decision has been at the center of an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Congressional aides said on Monday the administration had still provided no explanation for the decision to withhold the money, which had been approved by Congress and the State Department.

They said the OMB released the hold last Wednesday and the administration had begun to "obligate” it, or finalize contracts for how it should be spent.

A senior State Department official confirmed that the money had been released but declined to provide an explanation for why it was suspended or why it was released, beyond referring to recent comments by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.