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Nabih Berri wants expats back during corona crisis

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri threatened on Saturday to suspend his support for Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government if it did not act to bring home expatriates stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic. Berri is one of Lebanon’s most powerful figures and named the finance minister and others in a …

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Hezbollah okay with IMF loan, but with conditions

Hezbollah does not oppose foreign aid to Lebanon, even from the International Monetary Fund, as long as the help does not impose conditions that harm the national interest, its leader said on Friday. In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his Shi’ite movement, which backs the government, refused conditions …

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Bond holders try to rescue Lebanon

A set of Lebanon’s bond holders are to step up efforts to form a creditor group in the coming days after the country’s presidency signaled on Saturday it would default, one of the members of the group said. The move from Lebanon will come just two days before a $1.2 …

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Lebanese prosecutor refuses to freeze assets

Lebanon’s state prosecutor suspended an order on Thursday to freeze the assets of 20 local banks, warning it would plunge the country and its financial sector into chaos, according to a copy of the decision seen by Reuters. Local lenders are at the heart of a financial crisis crippling Lebanon …

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Hezbollah warns about IMF bailout package

Hezbollah believes that terms required by any IMF bailout package for Lebanon would spark “a popular revolution”, a senior official said on Tuesday, rejecting such a step and calling instead for a “national solution” to a deep economic crisis. Lebanon is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis, the …

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Offshore drilling to begin in Lebanese waters

Lebanon’s search for offshore oil and gas will begin on Thursday, President Michel Aoun said, as the country grapples with an unprecedented financial crisis. The results from the first exploratory well are expected in the next two months, the chairman of the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) said earlier on Wednesday. …

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More clashes, protests in Lebanon

Security forces fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters in Beirut on Tuesday as the Lebanese parliament convened to hold a vote of confidence on the new government led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab. MPs are set to vote on the government’s policy statement which says “painful steps” are …

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Ghosn row reaches Dutch courts

Lawyers for Carlos Ghosn, the fugitive former automotive executive, on Monday argued in a Dutch court for the release of internal documents relating to his dismissal by Nissan Motor (7201.T) and Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T). Ghosn, former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance who was arrested in Japan in 2018 but fled …

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Egypt looks to Lebanon as outlet for its gas

Egypt is considering exporting gas to Lebanon using an offshore pipeline, Egyptian Petrol Minister Tarek al-Molla told Al-Arabiya in an interview published Monday. “Unfortunately, the pipeline for importing Egyptian gas to Lebanon passes through Syria. The current circumstances in Syria mean we cannot deliver gas,” Molla said on the sidelines …

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New Lebanese government desperate or Eurobonds

Lebanon’s new government needs foreign support to help it get out of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, the finance minister said on Wednesday. Hours after he was named, Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni also said the government must decide on its approach to a $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing in March. …

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UN willing to help Lebanese reforms

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the formation of a new Lebanese government on Tuesday and will work with the new premier to support reforms in the heavily indebted country grappling with an urgent economic crisis. A statement issued by Guterres’ spokesperson also said the United Nations was committed to …

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UK freezing all assets trusted to Hezbullah

Britain expanded the scope of its asset-freezing measures against Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah on Thursday to cover the entire organization as well as its military wing. The finance ministry move follows Britain’s decision last year to classify the whole group a terrorist organization due to its destabilizing influence in the …

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Hassan Nasrallah vows to continue Soleimani’s path

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday his powerful Shi’ite militia group would continue the path of Iran’s Major-General Qassem Soleimani after his death in a U.S. air strike, broadcaster Al Manar reported. Nasrallah said the United States would not be able to achieve its goals with this …

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Nissan executive takes refugee in Lebanon

Former Nissan and Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was barred from leaving Japan whilst awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct, on Tuesday said he was in Lebanon. “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” Ghosn said in a statement. He said would “no …

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PM Diab to work for new, independent government

Lebanon’s prime minister designate said he would work to form a government within six weeks to help pull the country out of a deepening economic crisis, dismissing accusations he would be dominated by the powerful Iranian backed-Hezbollah movement. Hassan Diab, an academic and former education minister, was designated on Thursday …

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Hassan Diab crowned Lebanon’s new PM

Lebanon’s newly named prime minister said on Thursday he would quickly form a government to pull the country out of economic crisis after he was designated with backing from Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies. Hassan Diab, a little-known academic and former education minister who surfaced as a candidate overnight, said …

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Future party in Lebanon not fielding PM candidate

Saad al-Hariri’s Future Movement will not nominate any candidate for the post of prime minister in formal consultations at the presidency on Thursday, Lebanese television station al-Jadeed reported. Senior political sources said former education minister Hassan Diab looks set to be designated to the position with the backing of factions …

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Saad Al-Hariri out of PM race

Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri on Wednesday withdrew as a candidate to become prime minister of a new government, leaving no obvious alternative to head a cabinet that must tackle the worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. Hariri, the country’s leading Sunni politician, took himself out of the running on …

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Lebanese army clashes with Hezbullah, Amal supporters

Lebanese troops lobbed tear gas on Tuesday to disperse supporters of Shi’ite groups Hezbollah and Amal who tried to storm a square in Beirut in response to a video that purportedly offended Shi’ite figures, witnesses and media reports said. Hundreds of youths on motorcycles waving their party and religious flags …

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Moody’s declares Lebanon ‘credit positive’

Lebanon’s possible pursuit of assistance from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank is credit positive and reduces the risk of extreme macroeconomic instability, Moody’s said on Monday. “Without technical and financial support from the IMF, World Bank and international donors, a scenario of extreme macroeconomic instability – in which …

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Tear gas and rubber bullets in central Beirut

Security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Lebanese protesters in central Beirut on Saturday in clashes that went on into the night and wounded dozens of people. Hundreds of people had been marching in the capital as part of a historic wave of protests that has swept Lebanon …

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France wants speedy resolution of crisis in Lebanon

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday urged the Lebanese to form a new government swiftly or risk a financial crisis worsening and threatening the country’s stability. “(They should) form a government quickly because any delay will continue to worsen the situation,” Le Drian told a news conference. Six …

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Lebanese energy tender delayed

Lebanon’s caretaker Energy Minister Nada Boustani delayed a fuel tender by one week on Monday to allow for more competition and better prices after receiving offers from two companies. The ministry is trialing a state tender for 150,000 tonnes of 95 octane gasoline in an effort to stave off supply …

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Lebanese bonds in danger due to missing clauses

As Lebanon’s crisis-hit bonds flash warnings of a sovereign debt distress ahead, any potential restructuring is likely complicated by the absence of widely-used legal clauses barring bondholders from holding up the negotiations in the courts. Lebanon is one of the few countries – alongside the Bahamas, Azerbaijan, Macedonia and Poland …

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Hariri has no intention of resuming PM role

Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday he did not want to be prime minister of a new government, putting the onus on adversaries including the Iran-backed group Hezbollah to find an alternative who can steer the country out of crisis. Hariri, who is Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician and is …

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UNESCO designates Beirut Creative City for Literature

On the occasion of World Cities’ Day, celebrated on 31 October, UNESCO designated Beirut Creative City for Literature. With this annoucement, Beirut joins the Organization’s Network of Creative Cities, which now number a total of 246 members. The Network brings together cities that base their development on creativity, whether in …

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Lebanon resembles sinking ship, Nabih Birri

Lebanon is like a sinking ship that will go under unless action is taken, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying on Monday, referring to the country’s deep economic and political crisis. Newspaper al-Joumhuria cited Berri, an ally of the Shi’ite group Hezbollah, as telling visitors that efforts to …

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Candidate for PM withdraws during Lebanon crisis

Former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Safadi withdrew his candidacy to be the next prime minister on Saturday, saying that he saw that it would have been difficult to form a “harmonious” cabinet supported by all parties. Safadi, 75, emerged as a candidate on Thursday when political sources and Lebanese media …

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Lebanon on brink of civil war, warns defence minister

Lebanon’s Defence Minister said on Thursday the country was in a “very dangerous situation” and compared street unrest of recent days to the start of 1975-90 civil war. One month after the start of nationwide protests, Lebanon is in serious political and economic trouble with no indication of its leaders …

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