In record speed, the positive atmospheres that followed the formation of the Lebanese government dissipated. The country continues to plunge into darkness politically, financially and electrically, while the dollar exchange rate has returned to touch the twenty thousand lira line amid a significant rise in fuel prices, and the accumulation of poverty and unemployment levels.
While the prosthetic solutions continue, the government is on a date with three main stations this week. The first relates to the Cabinet session, on Tuesday, where it will brief Energy and Water Minister Walid Fayyad on the results of his discussions in Egypt and Jordan, in addition to listening to the ministers’ plans.
As for the second station, it is related to the government’s plan to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund, which will crystallize with the arrival of the Executive Director of the Fund, Mahmoud Mohieldin.
As for the third station, it will determine the outcome of the negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime border with the Zionist enemy, in light of the arrival of the new American mediator, Amos Hochstein, to Beirut, accompanied by a high-level American delegation.
On the line of the electricity crisis, which reached its climax on Saturday with the disconnection of the network, which led to Lebanon plunging into darkness, the Lebanese army was able to secure a temporary exit by supplying Electricité du Liban with part of its stock of gas-oil, and it recharged for three hours, over a period of three days. At a time, the Minister of Energy announced that the approval of the Banque du Liban had been obtained for $100 million to purchase fuel, and this would help increase feeding hours by the end of this month.
Parallel to the bet on the project to extract gas from Egypt, the 12th Hebrew Channel announced that the gas that will be transported from Egypt is Zionist gas. She added that Washington is supervising a plan to transport it to save Lebanon from darkness, adding that Egyptian gas will flow to Lebanon within a year or more if the plan goes well.
While Lebanon is preparing to receive an American delegation on Thursday headed by Assistant Foreign Minister Victoria Nuland, the repercussions of Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian’s visit are still preoccupying the Lebanese arena. Media sources revealed that the “butter” of the visit appeared in the meeting that brought Abdollahian together with the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, in the southern suburbs.
According to sources for the “Lebanese Forces” website, there was an agreement between the two men on the need to take advantage of Hezbollah’s seizure of the joints of the constitutional institutions to expand Iranian influence in Lebanon. To accept that Tehran would have a role in the workshop of rebuilding the port of Beirut in an effort to adapt Beirut “economically”, after it seized it politically and strategically.
In a related context, the head of the Kataeb Party, Sami Gemayel, confirmed that Lebanon is under Iranian occupation, and the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit is like a general’s visit to the sites he won.
Gemayel stressed that the time has come to delegitimize the political legitimacy of this guardianship through the upcoming elections.
In this context, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi called for international monitoring of the electoral process, warning that playing with the issue of elections would lead to dangers whose repercussions no one knows.
5 Postulates for IMF Negotiation
While the crises continue and hopes of the government’s ability to advance the country are fading, Environment Minister Nasser Yassin believes that Lebanon needs two years of crisis management to begin its long recovery path, focusing on 5 axioms around which the IMF negotiations should revolve:
• Consolidation of the dollar exchange rate.
• Approval of the Capital Control Law.
• Regulating the banking sector and protecting depositors.
• Preparing the 2022 budget.
• Finally, addressing the problems of the energy sector.