Senior Envoy Hochstein Mediates Maritime Border Dispute, Lebanon Prepares Offer After arriving in Beirut yesterday, Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein indicated that indirect negotiations could be supported by a proposal from Lebanese officials, which is reported to include all of the Qana field and none of the Karish field. [Reuters] The US mediator said, “instead of focusing on what is rightfully mine versus the other side saying what is rightfully theirs … as much energy should be placed into thinking is what is a creative idea that we can all compromise around that both sides will feel I may have not gotten everything I want but I have a lot more than what I have now.” [L’Orient Today]
Ministry of Public Health Records 555 Total Cases of Hepatitis A This Year According to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, the total number of cases recorded this year for Hepatitis A has reached 555. This figure comes amid a recent outbreak of Hepatitis A, which has hit the North of Lebanon especially hard. [L’Orient Today]
EU Delegation Inaugurates New LAF Headquarters in Southern Lebanon According to Naharnet, “The Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon and Expertise France have announced the inauguration of the Headquarters of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Model Regiment in the Bint Jbeil town of Srebbine. This project, funded by the European Union for a total amount of 6 million euros, aims to ‘improve the stability and security of Lebanon by strengthening the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to deploy in the south of the country,’ the EU Delegation said in a statement.” [Naharnet]
Two Lebanese Nationals Among Those Killed in Italian Helicopter Crash Among the seven who were killed in a helicopter crash last Thursday in a mountainous region of Italy between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna were two Lebanese nationals, Tarek Tayyah and Chadi Kreidi. According to Arab News, “Co-workers, friends and family members of Kreidi and Tayyah took to social media asking users to pray for their safety after their aircraft went off the radar on Thursday.” [Arab News]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Addressing The Way Forward In Lebanon
AbiNader writes, “the appointment of a resident IMF representative to advise on Lebanon’s financial recovery and report directly to the IMF Board, and the restart of the Central Bank audit and subsequent lifting of several banking secrecy laws only add to the speculation surrounding the future of the Central Bank. It currently answers to no one, as its internal monitoring and governance responsibilities actually lie in-house, with only sporadic reporting required or offered. It is precisely this concern for the lack of accountability that several of the new members of parliament (MPs) are seeking to change. The standard Parliamentary procedures of nominating and selecting committee members exposed flaws in the system, namely secret ballots for the committee positions. The voting process also exposed the lack of a unified, or at least coordinated, strategy for nominating seats by the new group of independents who have yet to present some structure and definition to their political aims amid the multiplicity of campaign issues.”
Reuters Lebanon’s North Turns To Apothecaries As Healthcare Costs Soar Lina Najem and Walid Saleh
Najem and Saleh write, “The craft dates back thousands of years and is known as alternative or herbal medicine – relying on concoctions made from herbs, spices, and natural oils in an attempt to treat ailments including colds, coughs and stomach bugs . . . Joe Salloum, the head of Lebanon’s pharmaceuticals syndicate, said the occasional use of herbal concoctions could provide relief – but an unregulated dosage could pose health risks. ‘When does it become dangerous? When it’s used in a concentrated way, when someone pushes it into a capsule and uses it in the wrong way or with the wrong dosage,’ Salloum said. Omar al-Ali, a pharmacist in Tripoli, said his customers buy pills by the sachet as they can no longer pay for an entire box, and more of them ask for plant-based remedies. ‘It used to be a minority, but it’s slowly increasing as people try to run away from the extreme cost of medicine,’ Ali said.
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.