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ECONOMIC CRISIS

Lebanon’s prime minister says IMF talks progressing well

Mikati said the central bank was now "cooperating fully" with Lazard, the advisor that helped draw up the previous financial recovery plan. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday that preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund were advancing well and a revised financial recovery plan would be complete by the end of November.

“For the first time we have handed over unified financial figures,” Mikati told an economy conference in Beirut. “We hope we will have a letter of intent soon.”

Talks with the IMF that aimed to secure financial support broke down last year amid disagreements over the scale of losses in the country’s financial sector that collapsed in late 2019.

The central bank, private banks and a parliamentary committee representing major political parties argued that losses were much smaller than the roughly $83 billion estimated by the plan, despite the IMF viewing the figures as accurate.

Mikati said the central bank was now “cooperating fully” with Lazard, the advisor that helped draw up the previous plan.

Economists see an IMF programme as the only way for Lebanon to unlock international aid and begin recovering from one of the worst financial crises in the world.

Mikati  also said Monday that legislative elections will definitely be held before the end of this Parliament’s mandate.

Speaking during the televised economy conference in Beirut, he said the exact date of holding elections is debatable, but the vote would be held before May 21. 


BEIRUT — Prime Minister Najib
Mikati said on Monday that preliminary talks with the
International Monetary Fund were advancing well and a revised
financial recovery plan would be complete by the end of
November.
“For the first time we have handed over unified financial
figures,” Mikati told an economy conference in Beirut. “We hope
we will have a letter...