Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/19/2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022



US Envoy Amos Hochstein to Attend Finalization of Maritime Accord in Lebanon Next Week
According to Reuters, “U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein will be in Beirut next week carrying a copy of the maritime agreement with Israel for Lebanese officials to sign, Lebanese negotiator Elias Bou Saab told Reuters on Wednesday.” [Reuters]

Recent Cholera Outbreak Kills Five, Health Minister Warns of Spread
According to the National, “Cholera is spreading rapidly in Lebanon, the country’s health ministry has warned as two more deaths and 80 more cases were reported in 48 hours. It brings the death toll to five and total cases to 169 since the country’s first cholera outbreak in 30 yearssurfaced in early October. Lebanon’s caretaker Health Minister Firass Abiad on Wednesday warned of a ‘fast spread of the disease’.” [
The National]

UN Security Council Applauds Maritime Accord
According to Naharnet, “The members of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday commended the announcements that Lebanon and Israel have agreed to end their dispute over their maritime boundary and delineate it permanently.” [

Prime Minister Mikati Meets with Saudi Ambassador
According to L’Orient Today,
“Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari on Wednesday and reaffirmed Lebanon’s commitment to the ‘Taif Agreement,’ according to a statement by Mikati’s office.” [L’Orient Today]


Imagining A New Lebanon
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Now that the maritime deal is almost done, there seems to be an air of hope – if the three presidents can agree on a deal with Israel, there may be a future for a solid deal with the IMF, too. But if there is to be a “new” Lebanon, will reforms be enough to cultivate Lebanon’s rise from the ashes of the old, or will the seeds of democracy planted by our fore bearers fail to weed out the corruption and mismanagement? Put another way, should we wait until Lebanon self-destructs as a government before there’s a way forward? These are very tough questions, and ones which we struggle with every day at ATFL . . . There are screams for a national vision that restores social services, puts families first, and prioritizes economic stability and security. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the most trusted institution in the country, is hobbled by politicians who benefit from illicit smuggling, economic deterioration, and impaired and lacking social services. But still, hopeful people yearn for a renaissance in Lebanon.”

Read More Here

The National
What Does the Maritime Border Deal with Israel Mean for Lebanon?
Nada Homsi  

Homsi writes, “Lebanon’s politicians have promoted the benefits of the maritime agreement, presenting it as the key to the nation’s financial recovery. But that remains to be seen. ‘For years, we have been dreaming of Lebanon becoming an oil and gas-producing country,’ lead negotiator and deputy Parliament speaker Elias Bou Saab said on Sunday. ‘We must exploit this energy today.’ Energy experts, including Mr Ayoub, are cautious about the odds. While Israel will immediately begin the process of extracting gas from the Karish gasfield, Lebanon’s Qana is merely a prospect — which means there is only a 20 to 25 per cent chance the first well drilled would contain viable amounts of hydrocarbons. ‘And this is why we really can’t say today that Lebanon has become an oil-producing country or a gas-producing country because of this agreement,’ Mr Ayoub said. The process of exploring and developing a gasfield is lengthy. Assuming the first well is viable, the process of developing the field would take between three and six years.” Read More Here

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.