Lebanon Daily News Brief 10/5/2021
IMF Technical Discussions Expected in the Coming Days
Yesterday Lebanon’s Finance Minister announced the resumption of talks with the International Monetary Fund. [Bloomberg] In the coming days, Lebanon and the IMF are set to hold technical discussions. The major issue in the talks that halted negotiations with the Diab government last year is who will be responsible for covering the Banque du Liban’s losses. [Al Jazeera]
French Envoy Meets with Lebanese Officials on Reforms and IMF
Yesterday, French special envoy Pierre Duquesne began talks with Lebanese officials in order to prepare the government for its resumption of IMF talks and to accelerate government reform measures. Dusquesne is in Lebanon on a four-day visit. He met with ministers of Finance and Public Works and Transport, and is expected to meet with President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, BDL Governor Riad Salameh, and others. [The Daily Star]
US Mediator to Visit Israel and Lebanon This Month
Israel says it is ready to renew talks with Lebanon over maritime borders, but Israel’s energy minister said that it will not accept Beirut dictating the terms of the negotiations, arguing that talks had previously started by one line and that Lebanon then tried to push the line further. [Reuters] The US State Department confirmed that US Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein will resume his role as mediator for the maritime border talks. (US State Department). Hochstein is expected in both countries this month.
UN Emergency Response Plan for Lebanon
Last week, the United Nations released a $383 million Emergency Response Plan for Lebanon. The plan includes 119 projects meant to provide essential support to about 1.1 million of Lebanon’s most vulnerable. [The 961]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Carnegie Middle East Center
Pivoting Away From America
Young writes, “While the headlines are that the plan would supply a suffering Lebanon with gas, the real story is that Egypt and Jordan are looking for ways to reintegrate Syria into the Arab fold, using Lebanon as a hook to do so. It seems increasingly apparent that what some in Washington are portraying as a Biden administration effort to lean in the direction of the Assad regime and Iran, may actually be more significant: an effort by Arab states to use openings toward Syria and Lebanon to challenge Iran’s sway in both countries and turn them into places where the Arabs can bargain with Tehran…In the absence of a United States acting as a Middle Eastern regulator, Arab states are accumulating cards to play power games of their own at the regional level. The debate in Washington remains insular, focused on how an administration in office acts and what this means domestically, but in the Middle East the regimes are imposing a new playbook. ”
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.