TotalEnergies Announces Exploitation Plans in Lebanon’s Offshore Gas Field After the meeting between chief executive and chairman of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, and the Lebanese Minister of Energy, Walid Fayad, the energy company announced that it was working towards exploiting Lebanon’s offshore gas resources from Block 9, likely selecting a vendor for a new drilling rig in Q1 of 2023. [Reuters]
Maronite Patriarch Calls for ‘Urgent International Support’, Disparages MP’s for Neglect According to Arab News, “The head of the Maronite Church in Lebanon on Sunday launched a withering attack on the country’s political leaders accusing them of failing the Lebanese people and the world. In his Sunday sermon, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi called for urgent international intervention to help resolve Lebanon’s dire political and economic situation. And he slammed members of parliament for neglecting their duties to the nation.” [Arab News]
General Security Director Calls for Election of New President, Warns of Growing Insecurity According to the L’Orient Today, “General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim said Monday during a meeting with the Maronite League that Lebanon will not be secure unless ‘political stability and economic stability are ensured in the country,’ warning once more of the growing insecurity that the ongoing political crisis could stir, the state-run National News Agency reported.”[L’Orient Today]
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Announces Tabling of Capital Controls Law According to Naharnet, “The Joint Parliamentary Committees have agreed to ‘put the capital control law aside after approving it pending the adoption of the rest of the laws that are related to the recovery plan,’ Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab announced on Monday.”[Naharnet]
Speaker Berri’s Proposed Dialogue Over Selection of President Predicted to Yield ‘Settlement’ According to Naharnet, “The parliamentary dialogue that Speaker Nabih Berri has called for is likely to take place, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Monday. ‘Christian’ parliamentary sources meanwhile told the daily that they have information that ‘a political settlement to elect a president is being prepare due to the international and Arab pressures and efforts’ . . . ‘As a result of this foreign understanding, a domestic understanding will take place, that’s why dialogue is essential as a choice and as a necessary gateway for domestic accord,’ the sources said.[Naharnet]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
L’Orient Today Salah Honein Is Officially A Candidate For President Anne-Marie El-Hage
El-Hage writes, “Pushed by the Change Forces, this constitutional lawyer and former MP received his first vote in Thursday’s session . . . For many of the Change Forces, he is the ideal consensus candidate for president. He could also receive support from opposition parties, such as the Lebanese Forces, the Kataeb and the Progressive Socialist Party, if they do not succeed in getting their candidate Michel Moawad elected. In Parliament Thursday, Salah Honein obtained his first vote from one of the 105 MPs who attended in the ninth parliamentary session dedicated to electing a president — which failed to elect a successor to Michel Aoun. The lone vote was cast by MP Michel Douaihy (Zgharta/ protest movement).”
Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center Enemies Of Each Other’s Enemies Michael Young
Young writes, “Nikita Smagin, from the Russian International Affairs Council, is an expert on Iran and Russian policy in the Middle East. For three years he worked as a foreign correspondent in Tehran, and has written on international relations for academic journals and media outlets in English, Russian, and Persian. Diwan interviewed him in early December to get his perspective on relations between Russia and Iran, at a time when both countries have enhanced their cooperation and Iran has supplied Russia with drones for its war in Ukraine.”
Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy The IMF and Social Welfare in MENA: Prospects for Alleviating Crises in Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon Thursday, December 15th, 2022 | 11:00 AM ET | Zoom Webinar
On Thursday, December 15 at 11:00am EST, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is pleased to host a virtual discussion featuring Hussein Cheaito, Aymen Bessalah, Salma Hussein, and Timothy Kaldas, and moderated by The Independent’s Bel Trew in which panelists will unpack: What do we know so far about the IMF’s staff-level agreements with Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt? How will these programs affect social protections and welfare in these countries? And most importantly: how will these agreements impact ordinary people’s lives?
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.
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