Lebanon Daily News Brief 9/30/2021

Thursday, September 30, 2021


US and Qatar Coordinate Sanctions Against Hezbollah Network
In coordination with Qatar, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions yesterday on a major Hezbollah financial network based in the Arabian Peninsula. In a statement, the department emphasized the importance of international partners like Qatar to help tackle cross-border abuses to the international finance system. [US Department of Treasury]

Jordan Prime Minister Visits Beirut
Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh met with Prime Minister Najib Miqati to discuss the plan to flow Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria to Lebanon. The conversation looked at ways to expedite the process and help Lebanon’s energy challenges. Khasawneh said there are efforts to provide Lebanon with electricity as well but said later discussions on this will follow. [AP]

Central Bank Rejects Changes to Exchange Rates for Withdrawals
The Lebanese central bank announced yesterday that it rejects changes to the exchange rate used to withdraw cash in Lebanese pounds from US dollar accounts, though parliamentarians have been calling for the rate to be raised. Banque du Liban said that a change to the rate without a comprehensive financial plan would have big consequences on the money supply. It added that it will extend current rates until January 31, 2022 to give the new government time to introduce its reform plan. [Reuters]


Assist ISF and LAF Families in These Desperate Times
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “There is no way to ignore the sword of Damocles hanging over the security services in Lebanon. It is shocking but true that deficits for both the ISF and LAF exceed 90% in the current budget. This affects everything from salaries and health services, to food supplies, operations, and staffing. At a program in Beirut on September 22, General Joseph Aoun, Commander of the LAF, Major General Imad Osman, Commander of the ISF, and US Ambassador Dorothy Shea addressed the difficulties facing the troops and their families…Together we are committed to raising funds to support the families of the LAF and ISF who are under severe pressure as a result of the erosion of the Lebanese currency, economy, and essential supplies. Not only does the deficit impact their livelihoods, but it reduces their effectiveness and operational readiness as they have had to cut back funds allocated to operations and supplies in order to pay soldiers.”

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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.