Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/26/2022

Wednesday, October 26, 2022



US Maritime Coordinator Travels To Lebanon

According to the US Department of Defense, “Special Presidential Coordinator Amos Hochstein will travel to Lebanon today to finalize the historic agreement to establish a permanent maritime boundary between Lebanon and Israel.  In Beirut, Hochstein will meet with President Michel Aoun, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to extend his gratitude to each for the consultative and open spirit demonstrated throughout the negotiations, the foundations of which were created under Speaker Berri’s leadership by the 2020 Framework.” [US Department of Defense]

Lebanon Approves Natural Gas Extractor TotalEnergies Share In Profits

According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s caretaker cabinet on Wednesday approved a decision to waive TotalEnergies’ (TTEF.PA) 40% stake in a consortium to explore the country’s maritime Bloc 9.” [Reuters]

Lebanon Begins Returning Syrian Refugees As Of Today

According to the Associated Press, only 750 of the planned 2,400 plus refugees departed from Northern Lebanon to Syria. Current efforts to return refugees voluntarily began in 2018, but temporally ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many human rights organizations have criticize the decision, Lebanon’s Director of the General Directorate of General Security Abas Ibrahim states “‘The return of Syrians to their land is a national obligation for us.'” [Associated Press]

Israeli Operations Begin Extracting Gas From Karish field

According to the Naharnet, “The announcement comes a day before Lebanon and Israel are expected to sign their maritime deal, following lengthy negotiations mediated by Washington. Energy assets were fiercely contested in the talks, with Israel ultimately securing full rights over Karish as part of the accord. Production at the other two gas wells at the site is due to begin within the next four weeks, Energean said.” [Naharnet]

New UN Report Reveals Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugees Worsening Conditions

According to L’Orient Today, “The UN warned Wednesday that the number of impoverished Palestinians living in Lebanon has risen substantially, fueling a “dramatic humanitarian crisis” as the country’s economy collapses further. For the past three years, Lebanon has been in the throes of one of the worst economic crises in recent world history, according to the World Bank, dealing an especially heavy blow to vulnerable communities, including refugees.” [L’Orient Today]

Tourism Boom Despite Iraq And Lebanon’s Worsening Conditions

According to the BBC, power outages and inflation have not deterred Iraqi citizens from vacationing in Lebanon. One tourist says “‘Even in Iraq we don’t have electricity. And the people are tired, they need to relax and unwind.'” [BBC]


Be Of Good Cheer From Lebanon
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “While there’s not much to be shouting for joy about, there are some small treasures worth exploring for the upcoming holidays that come straight from the heart. I’m talking about a book collection, cuisine elements, and a food emporium ready to serve you.”

Read More Here

Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Defeating The Deadlock?
Michael Young

Michael Young writes, “With Aoun scheduled to leave office at the end of October, a few days ago parliament entered the ten-day period prior to the president’s departure, during which it is constitutionally obligated to convene to elect a successor. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called for a session on October 24, but as in the preceding sessions parliamentarians failed to vote in a new president. Where are we today? The two major Christian blocs in parliament, the one headed by the Lebanese Forces and the other by the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), have, predictably, neutralized each other. Both know that any new president will need the approval of at least one of the major Christian blocs to enjoy legitimacy, and are acting accordingly. Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces leader, and Gebran Bassil, the FPM leader, appear to have concluded that neither has a chance of being elected, so that both are moving on a backup plan. For Geagea, it is to work toward the election of what he calls a candidate of “confrontation” against Hezbollah; for Bassil, it is to ensure that any new president will accept Bassil’s onerous conditions if he wants to receive FPM backing. Neither scenario is easy to implement, or sustain, amid continued state disintegration and foreign pressures.”

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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.