Lebanon Daily News Brief 02/18/2022

Friday, February 18, 2022


Banks Threaten To Close If Salameh Arrested
According to Naharnet, “The main commercial banks in Lebanon have warned the relevant officials that they would shut down their operations and that their CEOs would leave Lebanon should Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh be arrested, informed sources said.” [Naharnet]

Reports of Israeli Warplane Fly Over in Beirut Following Hezbollah Drone Reconnaissance Flight
Witnesses and security sources reported loud sounds in Beirut thought to be caused by low-flying Israeli warplanes flying over the Lebanese capital. [Reuters] The incident followed reports of a 40-minute reconnaissance mission of a Hezbollah-operated drone that crossed into northern Israel, triggering air defenses and the scrambling of fighter jets. [Reuters]

Parliament Scheduled to Discuss Draft Budget – MP Kannan
Chairman of Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee and Future Patriotic Movement MP Ibrahim Kanaan announced yesterday that the 2022 draft budget will be transferred to Parliament next week, following the confirmation from the Minister of Finance Youssef Khalil. Ibrahim Kanaan said that his committee disapproves of, “tax increases in the context of the economic and financial crisis.” The budget is expected to be presented before the Parliament on Monday and Tuesday. [L’Orient Today]



Lebanese Center for Policy Studies 
The US In The Middle East: One Year Into The Biden Administration – Interview with Paul Salem

Salem shares, “The problem has unfortunately been in Beirut—not in Paris or Washington. The support of international partners is there—it is simply that the governing oligarchy, and the governments that have been formed, including this one, that have not implemented any major or significant reform. It has become clear that even regarding serious matters, like the collapsing banking sector, the government has not done any of its homework to unleash the support that is out there. Moreover, I think there is a Lebanon-specific policy in the US that is not linked to Iran, nor to Israel or Syria. As you know, the US was very instrumental in trying to get electricity and gas to Lebanon, even if it went through Syria—thus requiring them to navigate their way around the Caesar Act. In conclusion, I would say that the support from the US and Europe to Lebanon is good. The problem is in the Lebanese government and the ruling class, who have not done anything serious to take advantage of it.”

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.