Geagea challenges Hezbollah chief : ‘Take first step East’

geagea on lbc

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea responded on Friday to the Hezbollah leader , urging him to “take the first step” and request help for Lebanon’s ailing economy from countries in the East and let us find out if they are ready to provide Lebanon with the assistance needed.

“Based on Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s call to head east: Why doesn’t he take the first step and encourage the states he talked about (in his speech) to place a bank deposit not less than one billion dollars in the Central Bank of Lebanon,” said Geagea in a tweet.

Geagea said several Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE used to put huge deposits in Lebanese banks before Nasrallah’s “offensive” rhetoric.

In a speech last week, Nasrallah said China and other countries in the East (like Russia and Iran ) are ready to invest in Lebanon’s infrastructure to help the country steer out of its financial crisis.

Nasrallah argued that Lebanon’s ongoing negotiations with the IMF could take more than a year, and that China could offer more rapid funding.

Talks with IMF are not going well for Lebanon according to media reports since Lebanon has not implemented any of the reforms needed for approval of the financial aid

Lebanon is grappling with an acute financial crisis seen as the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war. Its currency has fallen amid a hard-currency liquidity crunch, which led the state to default on its sovereign debt in March.

The heavily indebted country has been sliding deeper into trouble since October, when a combination of slowing capital inflows and protests against corruption spilled into a political, banking and financial crisis.

Hopes of a quick rescue deal with the IMF have been complicated by a row between the government and central bank over the scale of the losses in the financial system.

The government and the banks are sending conflicting signals to IMF .

Today Dr Henri Chaoul, top financial adviser of Foreign Minister Ghazi Wazni who is working with Lebanon’s government in talks with the International Monetary Fund, submitted his resignation, Wazni’s media office announced on Friday.

Lebanese media quoted analysts as saying that Dr Chaoul quit because he became totally convinced over the unwillingness of the political class to undertake the necessary reforms and over the lack of serious intention to restructure the financial sector.