Syria’s veteran foreign minister Walid Moalem dies

Syria’s veteran foreign minister Walid Moalem dies
Walid Al-Muallem. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Syria’s veteran foreign minister Walid Moalem dies

Syria’s veteran foreign minister Walid Moalem dies
  • No details mentioned on the cause of his death
  • The 79-year old had for years been in poor health with heart problems

CAIRO/AMMAN: Syria’s top diplomat and long-time foreign minister Walid Al-Muallem, a staunch defender of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s bloody crackdown on peaceful protesters that sparked a decade old conflict, has died, state TV reported early on Monday.
There were no details on the cause of death, but the 79-year old had for years been in poor health with heart problems.
Al-Muallem was first appointed foreign minister in 2006 and also held the post of deputy prime minister
The veteran diplomat saw his country’s tilt further toward Iran and Russia, which have helped shore up Assad’s rule and allowed the authoritarian leader to regain most of the territory he once lost to insurgents.
Syria erupted into civil war nearly a decade ago after Assad in 2011 began a brutal crackdown on protesters calling for an end to his family’s rule.
Al-Muallem accused Washington and the West of fueling the country’s unrest and labelled armed insurgents as “terrorists” in a conflict that has cost tens of hundreds of thousands of deaths and led to the exodus of millions of refugees.


Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
Updated 39 min 26 sec ago

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 mln doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February
  • The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s caretaker health minister signed a final deal on Sunday to secure 2.1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine as the country battles a steep rise in infections.
The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm, it added.
Lebanon is under a three-week lockdown that ends on Feb. 1 and a strict 24-hour curfew until Jan. 25 after lax measures over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period led to a spike in cases.
In addition to these deals, Lebanon has also signed up for 2.7 million doses to be delivered through COVAX, the global scheme backed by the World Health Organization to provide vaccines to poorer countries.