French and Saudi help
is conditional on reforms
U.S. is monitoring and wants
Lebanese to live as they like
Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed al Jadaan, said that his country is willing to help Lebanon, but wants to see a realistic reform plan first. Saudi Arabia would offer financial assistance but it is currently monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
“Saudi Arabia has been a strong supporter of Lebanon for decades, it’s not new, but we are watching what is happening at the moment,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble. “We are talking to the IMF and others — we want to see a reform plan that is viable and doable and then we will take action.”
“I would like to see a very clear reform plan that is doable, viable, accepted by the IMF and the supporting countries, and we will obviously assess it and stand ready.”
Al Jadaan said: “It is in our interest to ensure we don’t have failed states in this region, unfortunately we have some, and we are working with them to ensure that that the number does not increase but that those who are in trouble are actually helped and their people are helped to reach their potential.”
Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, said that Paris is ready to support Lebanon financially – bilaterally or multilaterally. “We think that the IMF might have a role to play at one stage, but it’s up to the Lebanese government to decide,” he said.
“France always stands ready to help Lebanon. It has always been the case in the past and it will be the case in the future.” He said that if there is any help required, France will be there. Le Maire said decisions by Lebanon’s government were urgently needed to improve the situation on the ground.
He warned against mixing economic recovery in Lebanon with U.S.-led efforts to counter Iran in the region. “We know that there are ties between the two issues but we don’t want to mix the issue of economic recovery in Lebanon, which is today the clear emergency, and the question of Iran,” Le Maire added.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Washington was keeping a close eye on the situation. “It’s something we’re monitoring – both the political and economic issues there,” he said. “Our interest is in the people of Lebanon. We want there to be safe environment where they can succeed economically and live as they want to.”
Date Posted: Feb 24, 2020