Lebanon Daily News Brief 9/23/2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021


Former Minister Files Request to Remove Judge Bitar
Yesterday former minister of public works Youssef Fenianos filed a request to remove Judge Tarek Bitar from the Beirut Port blast investigation over “legitimate suspicion.” Fenianos, who Bitar charged with criminal negligence in early July, has refused to appear for questioning. This refusal led to Bitar issuing an arrest warrant for Fenianos earlier this week. [Al Jazeera]

Lebanon At Risk of Total Blackout by End of September
Lebanon’s state electricity company warned that the country could be in total blackout by the end of September if its fuel oil reserves are not replenished. It is using fuel oil that was secured in a deal with Iraq, but said that its reserves of both Grade A and Grade B fuel have reached a critical point and some plants have stopped production. [Reuters]

Aoun Meets with Maritime Border Negotiation Team
Today President MIchel Aoun met with the Lebanese delegation that has been a part of maritime border negotiations with Israel. At the meeting participants discussed next steps since Israel signed evaluation contracts for gas and oil excavation in the disputed area. Aoun gave the delegation a report detailing negotiation strategy going forward. [Naharnet]


Arab News
How Biden Can Use Soft Power to Rein in Hezbollah
Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib

Khatib writes, “If the US were to succeed in diplomatic efforts to define a final border between Israel and Lebanon, it would be able to undermine Hezbollah’s narrative, even its raison d’etre as an armed resistance against Israel. However, delineating the border does not mean the group would cave in immediately, give up its weapons and turn into a political party. Disarming the group without driving the country into a violent confrontation is a long-term aim, but the delineation of borders between Israel and Lebanon would be an important step toward this goal.”

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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.