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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Lebanese PM Mikati in talks with Qatar and other Arab countries

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Lebanon’s visit to Qatar is postponed awaiting necessary procedures; sources told Doha News.

In a statement to Doha News, the office of the Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati disclaimed reports of local media saying a date has been confirmed for visits to Arab and Gulf countries, including Qatar.

“What has been circulated in some Lebanese newspapers regarding a confirmed date for visits to some Arab and Gulf countries is inaccurate,” the office said.

The office confirmed that “calls with several countries are being held to arrange future visits” without specifying a date.

Sources said that Mikati’s visit to Qatar is postponed until some necessary procedures are taken, without further information on the nature of the operations. 

Read also: Qatar’s amir congratulates Lebanon’s Aoun as new cabinet convenes

Meanwhile, Mikati has received an official invitation to visit Kuwait, conveyed by the Gulf state’s ambassador in Beirut, Abdel-Al Al-Qena’i.

The Kuwaiti newspaper “Al Jarida” quoted sources saying that Mikati is seeking to visit some countries, mainly Arab and Gulf states. He “requested to set a date to visit Saudi Arabia, but it has not been set yet, as well as Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.”

On the PM’s latest visit to Paris in light of the new government formation, the newspaper said, “the actual impact of the Lebanese Prime Minister’s visit to Paris was political and moral.”

However, the much-needed financial and economic aid to the crisis-hit Lebanon is still locked until the government accomplishes fundamental reforms, which the international community demanded to grant the new Lebanese government its confidence.

During his meeting with Mikati, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, stressed the government’s need to implement reforms, starting with the electricity, criminal audit files, and the need for international monitoring of wastewater drainage.

He said that foreign aid to Lebanon comes in the next stage, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper.

On the other hand, Mikati is seeking to renew and strengthen Lebanese-Arab relations. At the same time, he acknowledges that aid will not come in blank, and there will be no financial donations. Instead, an investment project provided that the government abides by its commitments.

The paper’s source considered the decisive test is setting an electricity plan and unifying the financial numbers, according to which Lebanon will negotiate with the International Monetary Fund.

“These are technical procedures linked to broader political files, most notably the demarcation of borders with Israel,” according to the report.

On Sunday, the Lebanese presidential office announced that president Michele Aoun chaired a meeting in the presence of Mikati, Deputy PM Saadeh Al Shami, Minister of Finance Youssef Al-Khalil and Minister of Economy Amin Salam.

The meeting was held to “complete discussions of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and to prepare the necessary files.”


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