Amid continuing pressure from the US and some European countries to ensure that Syria and Iran are locked out of the Lebanese banking sector, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati reiterated last month in New York that his government “will not expose its banking sector to any danger.” He said the authorities are quietly dealing with US concerns about certain bank accounts. Mr Miqati noted that according to statistics around $12bn was transferred out of Syria in the past nine months, but he said “we had not tried to direct these funds to Lebanon, so that we remain above any suspicion.”

He confirmed that Lebanon had taken the necessary precautions and was not hiding anything, adding that his government was mounting an international campaign to refute allegations that “Lebanese banks are laundering money on behalf of Iran.” Mr Miqati insisted that Lebanon respects its relations with the US and as a member of the international community abides by international decisions. (CONTINUED - 345 WORDS)