Calls in Lebanon’s Parliament to Reach Solution with IMF

MPs Ibrahim Kanaan and George Adwan during a meeting with the International Monetary Fund delegation. (Lebanese Parliament website)
MPs Ibrahim Kanaan and George Adwan during a meeting with the International Monetary Fund delegation. (Lebanese Parliament website)
TT

Calls in Lebanon’s Parliament to Reach Solution with IMF

MPs Ibrahim Kanaan and George Adwan during a meeting with the International Monetary Fund delegation. (Lebanese Parliament website)
MPs Ibrahim Kanaan and George Adwan during a meeting with the International Monetary Fund delegation. (Lebanese Parliament website)

Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee at the Lebanese parliament MP Ibrahim Kanaan called for holding constructive dialogue with the international community to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that takes into consideration the economic situation in Lebanon.

He slammed the fees included in the country’s 2022 state budget, which the parliament will resume discussing on Monday.

Kanaan made the remarks after an IMF delegation concluded their visit to Lebanon.

“Despite the urgency for action to address Lebanon’s deep economic and social crisis, progress in implementing the reforms agreed under the April staff-level agreement remains very slow,” the IMF said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement also said the country's financial recovery plan should respect the internationally recognized hierarchy of claims, in which the state and depositors receive more protection than the private sector.

“Small depositors must be fully protected and the recourse to public resources—assets belonging to all Lebanese citizens, with or without a bank account —should be limited,” the statement stressed.

Following a meeting with EU ambassadors at the parliament’s headquarters, Kanaan stressed that constructive cooperation is necessary if there really is a will to save Lebanon and implement a recovery plan.

He considered that “the ambiguity is not in the legislation, but in the executive branch and the content of its negotiations with the IMF” and asked about the fate of the depositors’ money.

Kanaan further slammed the 2022 budget prepared by the government and referred to the parliament.

“How do we accept, for example, that the budget tax be based on the exchange rate while we are paying citizens wages at the rate of 1,500 pounds per dollar?” Kanaan wondered.

He also pointed out that the cost of Syrian displacement is more than $30 billion and asked about the solution for this problem. The international community is responsible for returning the Syrians to their country and providing them with the financial aid there, according to Kanaan.

The major parliamentary committees had held the government responsible for the delay in reaching an agreement with the IMF.

They accused the government of failing to present a detailed, comprehensive, economic, financial and monetary recovery plan that clarifies the general path.

MP George Adwan, who chairs the parliamentary committee on Administration and Justice, reiterated in a press statement on Wednesday that the parliament and his committee are fully prepared to deal positively with all the necessary laws hoping for an quick agreement with the IMF to facilitate matters.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
TT

Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.