France remains committed to helping Lebanon in its plans for economic reforms, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday at talks in Paris with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
Sparked on October 17 by a proposed tax on calls made through messaging apps, the protests have morphed into a cross-sectarian street mobilisation against a political system seen as corrupt and broken.
An unprecedented wave of protests forced closure of banks in the country. On Thursday banking sources told media that country's banks will seek to prevent capital flight when they open on Friday but without imposing formal capital controls after a two-week closure due to nationwide protests which led the prime minister to resign.
Just before the security forces moved in on Saturday, two women and two men were manning the roadblock on the ring road. They said they have been at the roadblock for 10 days and have no plan to dismantle it but added that they would not fight the army. They let through an ambulance and a motorcycle.
After protesters marched in Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, Samir Geagea, head of the Lebanese forces party, said his group was resigning from the government.
A man was killed by a Lebanese soldier during Tuesday night protests, marking the first such fatality since nationwide demonstrations engulfed the country on Oct. 17.
Hariri quit on Oct. 29, prompted by protests against the corruption of Lebanon's ruling elite. The protests have continued since then and Lebanon is in dire need of a new government to start tackling an economic crisis.
A source familiar with the position of the Shi'ite groups Hizbollah and Amal said they would also nominate Khatib for the post, which must go to a Sunni Muslim according to Lebanon's sectarian system of government.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed and Hariri discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them across all levels.