Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/27/2021

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea Skips Military Summons
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea was scheduled to give his testimony this morning on the recent clashes in Beirut after being summoned by Army Intelligence last week. [Reuters] However Geagea did not show up. Lebanese Forces supporters protested the summon and blocked roads and highways, including closing off roads that lead to Geagea’s residence. Geagea’s lawyers filed a complaint yesterday that the summons was illegal. [Al Jazeera]

Former PM Diab Sues Over Beirut Blast Investigation
Former Prime Minister Hassan Diab filed a complaint today against the Lebanese state regarding his prosecution over the Beirut blast by Judge Tarek Bitar. Diab has skipped at least two interrogation sessions already, and the legal complaint he filed today comes one day before another rescheduled interrogation. Once Bitar is officially notified of the of the suit, he will have to pause his prosecution of Diab but will be able to continue the prosecution of others. [Reuters]

UN Special Rapporteur on Poverty to Visit Lebanon
The UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights will be visiting Lebanon for the second time. Acknowledging the roll Lebanon’s multiple crises have played in nearly doubling poverty rates in the last two years, Olivier De Schutter said “I will be looking closely at how the government is addressing the impact on people’s lives.” De Schutter will travel to Beirut, Tripoli, rural communities in Akkar, and the Bekaa Valley. [Naharnet]


Is It Even Possible to Segment the Lebanon/Syria Files?
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Why are Iranian shipments [of fuel] needed since US partners in the Gulf have more than enough export capacity to take care of Lebanon’s needs? Our diplomatic efforts with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait should have taken precedence over a pipeline deal that raises sanctions issues and won’t be viable until the end of the year. So what happened, and why isn’t Lebanon supported by its fellow Arabs to counter Iran’s ploy to give Hezbollah bragging rights? This is just another indicator that without a regional strategy and country-specific game plans, the understaffed and under-resourced State Department will not be able to keep up with the twists and turns affecting our interests.”

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Financial Times
Another Lebanon: A Journey Back in Time
Gilles Khoury

Khoury writes, “As the years passed, and as I witnessed my country constantly living on the edge of chaos and peril, I started to worry about these stories dying. I felt increasingly invested in the mission of watching over these tales. That is why I became a journalist. Many of my Lebanese contemporaries experience this very curious nostalgia, the one of longing for a time they never knew. Last year, on 4 August, an enormous explosion shattered the city of Beirut. An economic crisis, deliberately provoked by a ruthless ruling class, had already torn up the social fabric of the country. Lebanon is changing; it is a country painfully giving birth to another, one we still can’t define. At such turning points in history, what happens to our memories? Where are those stories safe?”

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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.