Lebanon Daily News Brief 8/13/2021

Friday, August 13, 2021


Fuel Reserves Reported to Run Out in the Next Three Days
Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the Riad Salameh’s recent decision to end the central bank’s fuel subsidies illegal and discussed the development at an emergency Cabinet meeting yesterday. [AP] There are discussions going on to prepare a draft law that would allow the central bank to continue subsidizing fuel imports. [Naharnet] Today Lebanon’s oil directorate announced that oil importers must sell fuel quantities they had already purchased while they await the new fuel exchange rate announcement from the central bank. [Reuters] Head of the Association of Petroleum Importing Companies warned that importers’ fuel reserves will run out in the next three days. [The 961]

Progress in Government Formation Talks
President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati reportedly made “speedy progress” yesterday in their government formation talks. [The Daily Star] Some sources reported that the distribution of ministerial portfolios is almost done. More talks will take place the next few days out of the spotlight and there is hope that a government will be formed next week. [Naharnet]

Israel Says it Took Down a Hezbollah Drone
The Israeli military announced yesterday that it took down a drone belonging to Hezbollah that crossed into Israel’s airspace from Lebanon on Wednesday. Reports said the drone was likely on a reconnaissance mission as it was unarmed. [Al Arabiya]


Lebanon – Caught In a Snare of Its Own Making
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “Are you still waiting to hear some positive political news about Lebanon? It’s clear that the humanitarian, medical, social, and economic news is all bad and getting worse. There are no updates yet from PM-designate Najib Mikati, tasked with producing the latest version of a government to be approved by his peers in the political oligarchy. Is no news good or bad?…There really is no hiding from these realities but the political oligarchy is doing its best. What a horrific year since the Beirut Port blast, the economic collapse, Covid, and emigration of the professional and skilled workforce. The people are speaking, from October 17, 2019 until today; their entreaties are being ignored. How much longer can the catastrophe be avoided?”

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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.