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CABINET FORMATION

International Support Group for Lebanon urges quick government formation

International Support Group for Lebanon urges quick government formation

The UN flag flying above its headquarters in New York, September 23, 2019. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — International Support Group urges Lebanon to quickly form a government and abide by the presidential election calendar

Here’s what we know:

    • In a statement from the UN, the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) took note of the appointment Thursday of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and called on all political actors to quickly form a government. “With the serious economic and social challenges it faces, Lebanon and its people cannot afford political deadlocks,” the ISG said. It also underlined the importance of respecting the constitutional calendar to ensure that the presidential election takes place on time, namely next October.

    • The group in this context "urged the Lebanese parties, including the executive and legislative authorities, to work quickly for the rapid formation of a government capable of implementing important outstanding reforms in order to alleviate the suffering of the population.” It particularly implored the authorities to “respect the commitments made in the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, including budgetary laws, capital controls, banking secrecy ..., decisions of the government and the central bank ... to lay the solid foundations for a socio-economic and sustainable recovery of Lebanon.”

    • The staff-level agreement between the International Monetary Fund and Lebanon alluded to in the statement pledged $3 billion in financing over four years to help the country recover from a financial meltdown that has seen the currency lose more than 90 percent of its value and has plunged the majority of the population into poverty.

    • A final agreement is conditional on the implementation of measures that include the passage of a banking restructuring strategy that “recognizes and addresses upfront the large losses in the sector, while protecting small depositors and limiting recourse to public resources,” according to the IMF. The draft agreement also called on Lebanon’s Parliament to approve an emergency bank resolution law and audits of its 14 biggest banks. In a letter sent to the IMF on June 21 by an adviser of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, banks called the draft agreement “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

    • Set up in September 2013 by then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with former Lebanese President Michel Sleiman to help mobilize support and assistance for stability, sovereignty and Lebanese institutions, the International Support Group for Lebanon is made up of the United Nations, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, in addition to the European Union and the Arab League.


BEIRUT — International Support Group urges Lebanon to quickly form a government and abide by the presidential election calendarHere’s what we know:    • In a statement from the UN, the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG) took note of the appointment Thursday of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and called on all political actors to quickly form a government. “With the...