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DIPLOMACY

Mikati tells Doha Forum he expects to sign agreement with IMF in the coming weeks

Mikati sits with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha, March 26, 2022. (Credit: Twitter / @grandserail)

BEIRUT — During his speech at the Doha Forum Saturday, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced an International Monetary Fund delegation will arrive in Lebanon Tuesday, with an agreement that Mikati expects to be signed in the next two weeks .

Here’s what we know:

•  “Negotiations between Lebanon and the IMF are continuing, and next Tuesday a mission headed by the IMF president will begin a visit to Lebanon to complete the negotiations, and we hope that after the new two-week round of negotiations, a preliminary agreement will be signed between Lebanon and the IMF,” the Prime Minister said.

•  Mikati said that his government is “working on restoring wellness to the economy,”, whose current maladies have resulted from “problems piling up for 30 years,” remarking that Lebanon has “no other choice but to cooperate with the IMF to put Lebanon on the track to recovery.”

•  The IMF recently met with the Mikati cabinet to discuss capital controls and banking secrecy laws. During an March 18 IMF press briefing, spokesperson Gerry Rice said that “discussions [with Lebanon] are progressing well. But extensive work is needed in the period ahead.”

•  Mikati also said that Lebanon “needs Arab support,”, while expressing his wishes for the reestablishment of ties with Gulf countries, which had been severed since October over disagreements regarding Hezbollah’s role in the country.

•  Mikati reported comments from the Qatari head of state announcing that the Gulf country’s chief diplomat would be conducting a visit to Lebanon in the coming weeks.

•  The prime minister described the diplomatic crisis as a “storm that would pass following [diplomatic] visits [he] will make to Arab countries and with the restoration of necessary ties with Gulf countries.”

•  Mikati expressed optimism for the outcomes of the Doha Forum, citing the developments since the previous installment three years earlier. The prime minister said he is committed to investing in Lebanon’s education system, citing the reopening of schools, the distribution of social welfare assistance and reaching an agreement with the IMF — all of which are prerequisites in Lebanon’s “economic and financial recovery.”

•  The prime minister warned that the new challenge facing Lebanon is ensuring food security in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

•  On the sidelines of the Doha Forum, Mikati met with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, but no details of their meeting were shared. The Lebanese Prime Minister also met with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi.


BEIRUT — During his speech at the Doha Forum Saturday, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced an International Monetary Fund delegation will arrive in Lebanon Tuesday, with an agreement that Mikati expects to be signed in the next two weeks .Here’s what we know:•  “Negotiations between Lebanon and the IMF are continuing, and next Tuesday a mission headed by the IMF president...