Lebanon Daily News Brief 1/13/2022
Protesters Block Roads Amid Soaring Fuel Prices, Exchange Rate
Public drivers, fuel trucks, buses, and other large vehicles blocked major highways in Lebanon as part of a ‘day of rage’ against the economic conditions. [Naharnet] Quoted in Reuters, a man at a Beirut suburb demonstration said, “I want any official – the president, the prime minister, the speaker of parliament – to try to live for one day with the salary of a poor worker. Let’s see how they will do it.” [Reuters]
President Aoun Criticizes Boycotters of Proposed National Dialogue, Reaffirms Openness to Conference
The office of President Michel Aoun stated, “Following the consultations that President Michel Aoun held with the parliament speaker, the prime minister and the heads of parliamentary blocs, regarding the call for dialogue, it turned out that a number of them rejected consultations as some rejected dialogue, which holds them responsible for the continued all-out paralysis of the government, judiciary and parliament.” [Naharnet]
Lebanese Foreign Minister: US Will Grant Lebanon Exemption for Energy Deal
Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib confirmed that the US will grant Lebanon an exemption from its Caesar sanctions in order to facilitate imports of natural gas from Egypt through Jordan and Syria. Seen as a major preliminary step in launching this deal, Lebanese leaders are also anticipating an upcoming return visit from the US State Department’s chief negotiator for the plan, Amos Hochstein, who is also the key mediator of the maritime border negotiations between Lebanon and Israel. [L’Orient Today]
HRW: World Report 2022 Released, International Community Should Pressure Lebanese Policymakers on Reform
Human Rights Watch Lebanon researcher Aya Majzoub said, “The international community should use every tool at its disposal to pressure Lebanese policymakers to put in place the reforms necessary to pull Lebanon out of this crisis, including by imposing sanctions against leaders responsible for the ongoing grave human rights violations.” [Naharnet] The Lebanon chapter of HRW’s World Report 2022 is available to read. [HRW]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Will Archeology Become Another Fatality Of Lebanon’s Dysfunction?
AbiNader writes, ”Yes, Lebanon’s heritage is not limited to just Baalbek, Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre. Its heritage of historical riches is grounded in so much more and yet our knowledge of it has only gotten us a few layers deep. Without concerted efforts by the national and municipal governments, this trend of depriving Lebanon of its many roots will continue.”
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Five Months Out From Legislative Elections, Who Are the Official Candidates of the Lebanese Opposition?
Hijazi writes, ‘After weeks of uncertainty, the parliamentary election date was finally set for May 15. Who will run in these elections, however, remains thus far mostly unknown. This is especially the case with the groups and parties claiming to be part of the popular uprising of Oct. 17, 2019, and they have only five months to establish themselves as worthy candidates. L’Orient-Le Jour took stock of the main opposition movements in an attempt to draw up a non-exhaustive list of their declared candidates, pending the official announcement of electoral lists and alliances.”
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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.