Four Killed in Tripoli Shooting According to L’Orient Today, “Unidentified attackers killed four people, including two brothers, and injured another person Friday after reportedly firing military-grade guns at a cell phone shop in the al-Tal neighborhood of Tripoli, North Lebanon, according to L’Orient Today’s correspondents in the area.” [L’Orient Today]
Hochstein Arrives in Beirut for Meetings, ‘More Work Needed’ According to AP News, “The U.S. envoy mediating between Lebanon and Israel over the two countries’ disputed maritime border said Friday some progress has been made but that more work needs to be done to resolve the issue.” [AP News]
President Aoun Address Presidential Uncertainty According to Naharnet, President Michel Aoun has hinted that he might eventually choose not to leave the Baabda Palace upon the end of his presidential term on October 31. ‘This (caretaker) government is not eligible to assume my powers after the end of my term, and I consider that it does not enjoy the national legitimacy to replace the president of the republic,’ Aoun said in an interview.” [Naharnet]
PM Mikati Issues Letter to UN on Refugees According to L’Orient Today, “Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati sent a letter Thursday to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asking for a “new approach” from the international community regarding the assisted return of Syrian refugees to Syria. In the letter, Mikati noted that Lebanon is a small country hosting the world’s highest percentage of refugees per capita, despite suffering from one of the most severe economic and financial crises since the mid-nineteenth century.” [L’Orient Today]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
A Presidential Role In Saving Lebanon Is Possible Jean AbiNader
AbiNader writes, “Let’s be frank. Lebanon needs a winner who can lead. Usually, we talk about capable leaders and managers as two different – but related – skill sets. In the past, this may have been a way to get by. Before, this may have been a more helpful distinction, now Lebanon needs someone who can channel both skill sets, projecting a vision for the country that both unifies and revives the spirit of resolution needed to win and mobilizes citizens for the challenges still to come. The current situation has two constitutional outcomes: the election of a president within two months or the extended rule of the Council of Ministers who, in presidential absentia, assumes many of the presidential responsibilities. The latter scenario would illustrate the role of managers – a group of professionals who can carry on the day-to-day functions of governing in concert with the Parliament. While not ideal, a train wreck awaits the country if a fully functioning government cannot be assembled by October 31st. Caretaker Prime Minister Mikati is preparing for this team management scenario by pulling together capable ministers who can get Lebanon to move ahead with the IMF deal, reorganize some government functions, keep up sufficient support for the LAF and ISF, and maintain some semblance of a social safety net.”
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.