Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has called on all political parties to cooperate to pull the country out of its crisis, the Council of Ministers said in a statement…reports Asian Lite News
“We affirm that Lebanon possesses a lot of potential and capability which should give the country an incentive to revive. This requires that we all cooperate, especially at the level of government and parliament, to push forward reforms and the recovery,” Mikati said on Wednesday during a meeting for the cabinet discussing necessary reform measures.
The Prime Minister added that his cabinet will continue to work to put the country on the path to recovery despite the tough social and economic challenges, Xinhua news agency reported.
“We are working non-stop to explore ways to pay all our internal and external obligations,” he said.
Mikati assured that Lebanon has made great progress in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and his cabinet expects positive results in this regard.
Lebanon has been going through an unprecedented financial crisis amid a steep shortage of foreign reserves, with more than 74 per cent of the population plunging into poverty, according to the World Bank.
Earlie, Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami has announced “the bankruptcy of the state and the Central Bank” of the cash-strapped nation.
“The state has gone bankrupt as did the Central Bank of Lebanon, and the loss has occurred; we will seek to reduce losses for the people,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Minister as saying.
He added that the negotiations to sign a preliminary deal between Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a package to exit a deep financial crisis in the country are currently underway.
The talks covered the restructuring of the banking sector, an economic recovery plan, approval of the budget as well as a capital control draft bill, he noted.
Lebanon has been facing a major financial crisis amid a steep shortage of foreign currency.
The country’s financial experts accused commercial banks of depositing clients’ foreign currency deposits at the Central Bank of Lebanon in return for high interest rates.
Meanwhile, the central bank used the clients’ deposits to stabilize the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound and finance the state’s budget deficit, experts said.
Germany has signed a financial cooperation agreement with Lebanon to provide the latter with an aid of 50 million euros ($54.5 million), the National News Agency reported.
The agreement was signed by Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib and German Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl, Xinhua reported citing the National News Agency.
The aid will be spent on several projects like building schools, launching water and sanitation programmes for communities hosting refugees, as well as adopting measures necessary to confront the Covid pandemic in Lebanon.
Hit by years of political chaos and the pandemic, Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis that has plunged over 74 per cent of the population into poverty.