BEIRUT — Head of General Security Abbas Ibrahim announced Friday that authorities will renew Lebanese passports expiring in six months for those wishing to visit holy lands in Iraq.
Here’s what we know:
• Passports of those wishing to partake in a pilgrimage in Iraq will be renewed for one year at a cost of LL60,000, in addition to a LL35,000 service fee.
• In April, General Security announced that the number of passports it had available to issue had dwindled, even as requests for new passports had increased tenfold over the past two years. Appointments for passports and passport renewals were therefore suspended for one month.
• Even prior to the suspension, appointments granted were generally months in the future, and severe electricity outages and fuel shortages forced many Lebanese to wait for hours, sometimes overnight, to apply for or receive their passports.
• Ibrahim promised Thursday that “the passport crisis will be gradually resolved starting next October,” without specifying how it will be resolved and what exactly will be done regarding the backlog of applications.
• Meanwhile, some Lebanese find themselves stranded in the country due to heavy delays in the process of applying for or renewing their passport.