Lebanon Daily News Brief 05/10/21

Monday, May 10, 2021


Central Bank Looks Into Mechanism for Dollar Withdrawals
After a civil society group submitted a legal complaint against banks who have frozen Lebanese depositors out of their accounts and blocked withdrawals, the Banque Du Liban announced yesterday that it will be looking into a mechanism that would allow Lebanese to have access to their funds. Many depositors have been locked out of their accounts since 2019. [Reuters]

Turkish Company Warns It Will Cut Power to Ships in Lebanon
After Lebanese Financial Prosecutor Judge Ali Ibrahim ordered two Turkish power ships to be detained last week, the Turkish company Karpowership is urging the Lebanese government to engage in talks. Karpowership served a final notice that it will suspend services while Lebanon struggles to pay over $100 million owed to the company. [Bloomberg] The judge ordered to detain the ships on suspicion of corruption in dealings of the ships production. [The 961]

Friends of President Aoun and PM-Designate Hariri Seek to Revive Talks
After French Foreign Minister Le Drian’s visit to Beirut last week, local mediators and common friends of President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri are reportedly conducting behind-the-scene efforts to resume talks between the two government leaders to find a solution to Lebanon’s cabinet formation. Lebanon is now rounding its ninth month without a government. [Naharnet]

Developing Cross-Border Cartels in Syria and Lebanon
Concern is growing over Syrian and Lebanese developing drug networks. Saudi Arabia recently imposed a produce ban after it seized millions of Captagon pills being smuggled into the country from Lebanon. Over the last two years, at least 15 other shipments of Captagon have been intercepted in the Middle East and Europe. Some officials report that these shipments originate from Syria and Lebanon cross-border cartels, made up of networks of crime families, militia leaders and political figures. [The Guardian]

Hezbollah Leader’s Support for Recent Iran Talks
Hassan Nasrallah’s latest televised speech revealed the Hezbollah leader’s support for Iran talks with the United States and Saudi Arabia. This support comes after mediated talks between Tehran and Riyadh in Baghdad and between Tehran and Washington in Vienna. [Associated Press]


The Value of a ‘Seat at the Table’: How Elites Interfere in Lebanon’s Infrastructure Procurement
The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies
Mounir Mahmalat

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.