No aid before reforms
says Paris aid conference
Participants mull sending
An international support group, led by France and the United Nations, said that Lebanon cannot receive economic assistance until a new government undertakes significant reforms.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker said the international support group will give technical advice to Lebanese institutions and is considering sending some humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese people. He said: “There’s no aid package. There is no bailout. Lebanon is not being saved from its financial mess.”
“In order to halt the sharp deterioration in the economy ... there is an urgent need for the adoption of a substantial, credible and comprehensive policy package of economic reforms to restore fiscal balance and financial stability,” said the group which is made up of international financial institutions and representatives from different countries, including the United States.
Lebanon was also present at the meeting through representatives from the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, and the Central Bank.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the group supports the Lebanese protesters who are calling for an end to corruption and for reforming the political system.
The caretaker government had asked Saudi Arabia, France, Turkey, the United States, China, and Egypt to provide funds to help Lebanon finance imports.
Separately, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that his country is ready to “do the things that the world can do to assist the Lebanese people getting their economy right and getting their government right.”
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Dec 12, 2019