Lebanon Daily News Brief 9/13/2021

Monday, September 13, 2021


Lebanon’s New Cabinet Holds Its First Session
Lebanon’s new cabinet held its first session today at Baabda Palace followed by a closed door meeting between President Aoun, Prime Minister Miqati, and Speaker Berri. A committee was formed by Miqati to draft the ministerial policy statement in which Aoun says he hopes will include negotiations with the IMF. [Naharnet] Miqati says that the resumption of IMF talks are a priority as is addressing the fuel and medicine shortages. [Reuters]

BDL to Receive $1.35 Billion in Special Drawing Rights
Lebanon’s finance ministry said today that the Banque du Liban will receive $1.35 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs) from the IMF. The funds are said to arrive this week, on September 16. The SDRs now include both $860 million that was allocated this summer in addition to $275 million from 2009. [Al Arabiya]

Central Bank Allows Fuel Imports at LL8,000 to the Dollar
Five of seven ships carrying fuel for Lebanon have reportedly reached Lebanese waters and have been waiting for days to offload. The central bank announced that it will give pre-approvals to the companies that own the ships to import the fuel. Fuel subsidies have been significantly reduced. The central bank recently raised the exchange rates from LL1,500 to the dollar to LL3,900 to the dollar, and now the fuel on these seven ships will be subsidized at LL8,000 to the dollar. [Naharnet]


Carnegie Middle East Center
Najib Mikait Has Formed a New Lebanese Government
Michael Young

Young writes, “Politically, there are many minefields ahead. Gebran Bassil still wants to become president and this may very well affect cohesion in the cabinet if he decides to order the ministers he named to block unpopular government decisions so he can gain favor. Without a sense of common purpose in the cabinet, Mikati’s plans may be derailed, so the prime minister will have to be agile in managing his differences with the president and his son in law to avoid deadlock. But for now, the Lebanese will breathe a sigh of relief. They have received only bad news for two years, and now may see some light, albeit a very pale light, at the end of the tunnel.”

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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.