Lebanon

Not supporting the Lebanese Army is akin to supporting Iran and Hezbollah

As we mourn the loss of Maronite Patriarch Emeritus Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, we are reminded of his legacy of being a courageous defender of the sovereignty of Lebanon in the face of Syrian occupation. It is striking that he passed at a moment when tensions between Iran and the United States are running high and threaten to drag Lebanon into ...

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Israel, Lebanon close to framework for land-sea border talks

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Lebanon and Israel are close to establishing a framework for negotiations on demarcating the Lebanese-Israeli land and maritime borders. In a statement, it said the form of negotiations to be held under U.N. auspices and the role of each of the concerned parties is still being worked out. The purported negotiations are to be overseen ...

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No need for more talks over draft budget: Lebanon finance minister

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s finance minister said on Tuesday there was no need for more talks over the 2019 draft budget, seen as a vital test of the government’s will to reform, although the foreign minister signalled the debate may go on. The cabinet says the budget will reduce the deficit to 7.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) from last year’s 11.2%. ...

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Lebanon: civil servants protest austerity measures

Public-sector employees and military retirees demonstrated yesterday in Beirut to protest the government’s stated intention to reduce their salaries and pensions, as reported on Anadolu Agency.  Organised by Lebanon’s Trade Union Coordination Body and Association of Public Administration Employees, the protest was timed to coincide with the Lebanese government’s weekly cabinet meeting. Protesters demand the cancellation of certain articles of the ...

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EXPLAINER-What’s at stake as Lebanon tries to put finances in order

BEIRUT, May 21 (Reuters) – Lebanon, which has one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens, is finalising a budget to rein in its deficit after years of inaction. The prime minister has said failure to pass a “realistic” budget would be tantamount to a “suicide operation” against the economy. The president has urged Lebanese to be ready to make ...

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Israel agrees to Lebanon border talk demands

Israel has agreed to Lebanon’s conditions to negotiate the countries’ border disputes, a senior U.S. diplomat told Lebanese officials Monday, according to two sources briefed on the conversations. Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield delivered the news in meetings with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. Satterfield ...

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US in new push to resolve Israel-Lebanon sea border dispute

BEIRUT – A senior U.S. official who has been mediating the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon has met with Lebanese officials for a second day, signaling a new push to resolve the matter. Israel and Lebanon both claim some 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon hopes to unleash offshore oil and gas production as ...

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PM: Lebanon should learn from Egypt’s economic development

BEIRUT – Lebanon’s prime minister says his country should learn from the government of Egypt how to stimulate economic growth, reform laws and combat corruption. Lebanon’s economy is struggling with soaring debts, rising unemployment and slow growth. The government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri is debating an austerity budget and key reforms with the aim of unlocking billions of dollars in ...

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UN confirms 3rd Hezbollah tunnel at Lebanon-Israel frontier

United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon have confirmed the existence of a third cross-border tunnel, out of six the IDF said it discovered in the area last year. The force known as UNIFIL said the tunnels violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. It said last week that peacekeepers completed a technical inspection ...

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Russia expands ties in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector

BEIRUT — During a Middle East tour last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo focused primarily on Iran’s influence in the region, but on Mar. 20 in Jerusalem he also labeled Russia an adversary of US regional allies in addition to Iran and China when speaking about energy and security in the eastern Mediterranean. “Revisionist powers like Iran and Russia and China are all trying to ...

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