BEIRUT — Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami called on Lebanese politicians to "respect the constitutional obligations," by holding the presidential election and forming a government, in order to "accelerate the implementation of reforms and not lose this support, according to a statement issued Tuesday by Chami's press office, following his attendance, as part of a Lebanese delegation, to the annual fall meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank held last week in Washington.
Nevertheless, Chami reassured in his statement the support of the international community and its institutions for Lebanon.
Chami emphasized that reforms, which have not yet been implemented, are, nonetheless, "progressing," during his meetings with international officials. The preliminary agreement signed in April with the IMF of $3 billion over four years is conditional on the establishment of several reforms. The lifting of banking secrecy is one of them and is to be discussed on Tuesday in Parliament on the basis of a new bill already decried by Lebanon's civil society.
Meeting with IMF officials, including the team in charge of the Lebanese file, as well as World Bank authorities and other institutions such as the French and American treasuries, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Chami reiterated "the need to help Lebanon" because its situation "is different from that of any other country," describing it as a "unique case study" for the IMF.
However, Chami concluded in his statement that "We must help ourselves so that others can help us." A phrase that resonated with that expressed by former French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during an official visit to Lebanon a few days before the terrible Beirut port double explosion on Aug. 4, 2020.
"Help yourself, and France and its partners will help you," he had told the Lebanese authorities back then.