Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/18/2022

Tuesday, October 18, 2022



Parliament Passes Amended Banking Secrecy Law
According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s parliament on Thursday passed another round of amendments to a banking secrecy law after the International Monetary Fund said a previous draft retained key deficiencies.” [Reuters]

President Aoun Meets with Delegation from TotalEnergies, Asks to Quickly Begin Exploration
According to Naharnet, “President Michel Aoun on Tuesday told a delegation from French oil giant TotalEnergies that exploration for gas in Lebanon’s offshort Block 9 ‘should start quickly to make up for the time that was lost during the indirect negotiations for the demarcation of the southern maritime border’.” [

Finance and Budget Committee Votes Out Forces of Change MP
According to L’Orient Today, “The only Forces of Change MP, Ibrahim Mneimneh (Beirut II), was voted out of the Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee during a parliamentary session on Tuesday to elect new parliamentary committees and secretaries, as many other committees remained relatively the same as they had been when parliamentary committee members were elected in May. Mneimneh was replaced with al-Ahbash affiliated pro-March 8 MP Adnan Traboulsi.” [
L’Orient Today]

Caretaker Deputy PM Stresses Shortening Window of Int’l Attention on Lebanon
According to Arab News, “Saadeh Al-Shami, Lebanon’s caretaker deputy prime minister, warned on Tuesday that ‘although international institutions are still interested in helping Lebanon,’ the patience of the international community is wearing thin because of the slow pace of economic reforms in the country. He said that the attention of the world is instead shifting toward poor and emerging countries that are struggling as a result of difficult global economic conditions.” [Arab News]


Imagining A New Lebanon
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Now that the maritime deal is almost done, there seems to be an air of hope – if the three presidents can agree on a deal with Israel, there may be a future for a solid deal with the IMF, too. But if there is to be a “new” Lebanon, will reforms be enough to cultivate Lebanon’s rise from the ashes of the old, or will the seeds of democracy planted by our fore bearers fail to weed out the corruption and mismanagement? Put another way, should we wait until Lebanon self-destructs as a government before there’s a way forward? These are very tough questions, and ones which we struggle with every day at ATFL . . . There are screams for a national vision that restores social services, puts families first, and prioritizes economic stability and security. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the most trusted institution in the country, is hobbled by politicians who benefit from illicit smuggling, economic deterioration, and impaired and lacking social services. But still, hopeful people yearn for a renaissance in Lebanon.”

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Middle East Eye
Sending Gas to Lebanon via Syria Unlikely to Violate Sanctions, Senior US Official Says
Sean Matthews

Matthews writes, “A plan to send gas to cash-strapped Lebanon via Syria is not expected to violate US sanctions, the US’s top energy advisor, Amos Hochstein, said on Tuesday, signalling that the stalled plan to address Lebanon’s energy crisis may be revived following Beirut’s maritime deal with Israel. ‘The US has always been committed to getting that deal through,’ Hochstein said. ‘We are going to work with the World Bank and Treasury Department to make sure that it first doesn’t affect any sanctions, which I think we are okay on, but we will have to have a determination formally.’ The US floated a plan last year to ship gas from Egypt to Lebanon via the Arab gas pipeline running through Jordan and Syria. Lebanon is currently in the grips of a devastating economic crisis the World Bank says could rank as one of the worst in the world since the 1850s. Lebanese who cannot afford to run a private generator have about two hours of electricity per day. Lebanon, Egypt and Syria signed a gas agreement in June. While the proposal has received support from regional countries, it has been met with opposition in the US Congress over concerns that it will provide a financial lifeline to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”

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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.