Iran FM assures Lebanon president of readiness to supply wheat amid Ukraine crisis
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 26 March 2022 3:57 PM
Lebanese President Michel Aoun says Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has assured him of Tehran's readiness to support Beirut in all fields, "most notably in the provision of wheat" amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two main exporters of wheat.
The Lebanese president made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account on Friday after a meeting with the Iranian foreign minister in Beirut.
Lebanon imports the bulk of its wheat from Ukraine. But now amid Russia's military operation in Ukraine, concerns are growing in Lebanon over a shortage of wheat supplies.
The World Bank has warned that Lebanon is one of a number of developing countries that face near-term supply shortages as a result of the Ukraine conflict.
Lebanese Economy Minister Amin Salam told Reuters this week that his country seeks to diversify its supplies and import 50,000 tonnes of wheat from India, but the timing depends on the central bank opening the necessary credit line.
In a meeting with a number of Lebanese elites, political, cultural, scientific and research figures in Beirut on Friday, the top Iranian diplomat also expressed his country's readiness to supply Lebanon with medical services and medicine.
He also added that Tehran is ready to supply Beirut with technical and engineering services as well as industrial and energy products through transparent and clear interaction.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the "special military operation" on February 24 aimed at the "demilitarization" of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, largely populated by ethnic Russians, in eastern Ukraine.
In 2014, the two regions declared themselves new republics, refusing to recognize Ukraine's Western-backed government.
Concerns about wheat shortages in Lebanon come as the country is grappling with a deteriorating financial crisis, including the breakdown of its banking system, spiraling inflation and the coronavirus pandemic.
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