Lebanon Daily News Brief 08/24/2022

Wednesday, August 24, 2022



Ministry of Interior Launches Investigation of Threats Against Saudi Embassy in Lebanon
Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of the Interior and Municipalities, Bassam Mawlawi, requested that the ISF investigate threats against the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon which were published on the Twitter account of a Saudi national residing in Beirut’s Southern suburbs – apparently wanted by Saudi authorities for ‘terrorist crimes’.  [Reuters]

Senior Energy Security Advisor Reported to Return to Lebanon with Final Proposal on Maritime Border
It has been reported that the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Energy Security and principal envoy concerning the ongoing, US-mediated negotiations between the Lebanese and Israeli governments over the delineation of Lebanon’s Southern border, Amos Hochstein, will deliver the final proposal to both government during a trip that could take place ‘as soon as the end of August’. [The National

Facebook Parent Company Launches Pilot Program in Lebanon
According to Arab News, “Facebook parent company Meta has launched My Digital World, a pilot program for adults in Lebanon that aims to create a safer online experience and reduce the risk of bad behavior in the real world. It has been developed with local partner the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training.” [Arab News]

Deputy PM Urges Approval of Capital Controls Law
According to Naharnet, a political source close to the cabinet formation issue in Lebanon said, “If the government is not formed this week, it will be totally impossible to form it after that, because the country will enter next week in the 60-day constitutional deadline for the election of a new president, and the country will remain governed by a caretaker cabinet,” as the ongoing negotiations between President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Najib Mikati have reportedly not advanced. [Naharnet]


White House Chronicle
The Sad Fall of Lebanon, A Country That Produces Huge Talents

Llewellyn King

King writes, “Among the children of the world’s many diasporas, few have made as large a mark as the Lebanese. Their native country has fewer than 6 million people, including a million or more refugees . . . In a paper for the task force, Gabriel stated, ‘On this day (Aug. 4, 2020) two years ago, over 500 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at the Port of Beirut exploded, causing more than 220 deaths, 7,000 injuries, 300,000 displaced individuals, and at least $1.5 billion in property damage. Since then, there has not only been a lack of closure for the families of the victims but the very corruption and negligence that caused such carnage and suffering has yet to be addressed by those in power’.”

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The Cradle
How The US Controls Lebanon’s Energy Supply

Yeghia Tashjian

Tashjian writes, “imagine the catastrophic state of Lebanon’s energy sector after two years of fuel shortages, limited foreign currency with which to purchase new, urgent supplies, and US-sanctions on Syria impeding Lebanon’s only land route for imports. After decades of stalled reforms, Lebanon is running out of time and money . . . It is in Lebanon’s interest to ensure that one party, the US, does not continue to hold all the cards related to its vital fuel needs. A recent offer from Iran to supply the country with monthly free fuel was tacitly accepted by Lebanon’s prime minister and energy minister, but needs work. Other states have offered to build power generation plants to enhance the nation’s infrastructure and efficiency. But with Lebanon so deeply affected by Washington’s whims – and punishments – it isn’t at all certain that the country can steer itself to these more independent options.” 

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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.