BEIRUT — A delegation of European ambassadors residing in Lebanon met Thursday with Lebanon's parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee "to stress [their] concerns over the delays on implementing measures needed to pull Lebanon back from the brink," the EU's ambassador to Lebanon Ralph Tarraf said in a series of tweets.
Tarraf said that the meeting, which gathered members of the Finance Committee and diplomats from EU member states, Norway and Switzerland, also discussed "the imperative to do more to contribute to rebuilding the economic, monetary and fiscal space in Lebanon, as a first step on a path to recovery, including identifying and attributing incurred losses, passing a realistic budget, bank secrecy, and capital controls law."
"We implored MPs to live up to their responsibilities and to do their part in implementing the prior actions agreed between the government and the IMF. The time to act is now," Tarraf also said.
The head of the Finance and Budget Committee Ibrahim Kanaan said after the meeting that it "was rich and tackled all subjects including the legislations needed and the matter of Syrian refugees and for the first time we directly tackled the practical and real obstacles."
On Tuesday, the delegation of ambassadors met with President Michel Aoun and stressed the importance of implementing the reforms demanded.
Parliament is yet to approve critical reforms demanded by the IMF to unlock a three billion dollar assistance program, which includes, banking secrecy, a state budget, and a capital control law.
On Wednesday, representatives of the United States, France and Saudi Arabia met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, issuing a joint statement urging Lebanon to implement reforms demanded by the IMF and to hold the presidential election "within the constitutional timeframe."