US supports Lebanon reforms envoy tells Aoun, urged implementation

File photo of US Ambassador Dorothy Shea when she presented her credentials to President Aoun. (Screengrab)

BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun met with the US ambassador to Lebanon Thursday.

File photo of US Ambassador Dorothy Shea presenting her credentials to President Aoun. (Screengrab)

Ambassador Dorothy Shea reaffirmed to Aoun that the US supports the reform measures Lebanon is undertaking in order to come out of the financial and economic crisis it is suffering from. .

Reforms in limbo

But PM Hassan Diab has so far been unable to implement the reforms needed to secure the financial aid promised by IMF and CEDER.

CEDER seems to have already given up on Diab

He reportedly was informed not to call for a coordination meeting for CEDRE unless the government launches reforms it vowed to implement, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.

According to the daily, Diab who held a coordination meeting for CEDRE at the Grand Serail in May, was “officially” informed that there was “no point” in holding such “futile” meetings as long as the government “did not complete any reform plan.”

Officials should preferably be invited only when new developments necessitate the meeting, it reported.

According to analysts Lebanon needs to implement reforms that are long overdue to be able to unlock key financial aid from international donors and from the International Monetary Fund – with whom the government is in negotiations currently – to be able to salvage its dire economic situation.

People protesting against worsening living conditions last week criticized the government for not carrying out reforms, especially after approving 20 public sector appointments based on the same old sectarian pie-sharing system.

In 2018, aid pledges worth more than $11 billion were made at the Paris CEDRE conference.

The government adopted an economic rescue plan, pledging to implement significant reforms. It entered talks with the International Monetary Fund, seeking to unlock billions of dollar in aid.

According to analysts , all promised aid is tied to reforms : “No reforms means no aid “, said one analyst adding without reforms Lebanon’s economy will completely collapse.