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Lebanon in Jun 2023

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Jun 1, 2023

  1. Palestinian Group Blames Israel for Blasting at Lebanon Base, Killing Five Members (New Arab). A blast at a base close to the Lebanese-Syrian border belonging to a Palestinian militant group has killed five and wounded several more.
  2. Deadly Blast at Palestinian Terror Group Base in Lebanon; Israel Denies Involvement (Times of Israel). Arabic-language media reported that five members of a Palestinian terror group in Lebanon were killed in a mysterious blast blamed on Israel on Wednesday morning. Israeli officials denied any involveHowever, ment and a Lebanese security source said the explosion was accidental.

Jun 2, 2023

  1. Lebanese Military Court Accuses Hizballah of Killing a UN Soldier (Al Arabiya). The Lebanese military judiciary has accused five members of Hezbollah, one of whom is arrested, with the crime of premeditated murder in the attack on a patrol of the United Nations Interim Force in southern Lebanon “UNIFIL,” which resulted in the death of an Irish soldier, according to a judicial source told Agence France Presse. 

Jun 3-5, 2023

  1. Presidential Vote Forecast:  68 Votes for Azour, 45 for Franjieh, 15 Blank (Nahar Net). Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh could garner 45 votes, while former minister Jihad Azour could garner 68, if Speaker Nabih Berri calls for a session, LBCI said in a detailed report.
  2. Gebran Bassil Says Parliamentary Blocs will Nominate Jihad Azour for Presidency of Lebanon (Al Jazeera). The head of the Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon, Representative Gebran Bassil, announced the movement’s intersection with other parliamentary blocs on the name of Jihad Azour as a presidential candidate, among other names that the movement considered “appropriate and not provocative.”
  3. Hezbollah Bashes Lebanese Military Tribunal After its Fighters are Accused of Killing UN Peacekeeper (Times Of Israel). A Hezbollah official said Friday there was “no justification” for linking the powerful Lebanese terror group to an Irish peacekeeper’s killing, a day after a military judicial official accused five militants of last year’s attack.
  4. Lebanon to Send Investigative Team to Paris After Lebanese Ambassador Accused of Rape (Nahar Net). Lebanon’s foreign ministry has said it would send an investigation team to Paris following reports that Beirut’s ambassador to France, Rami Adwan, has been accused of rape and intentional violence.

Jun 6, 2023 

  1. Berri Schedules June 14 Presidential Election Session (Nahar Net). Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday called for a June 14 presidential election session, a day after the opposition officially endorsed ex-minister Jihad Azour as its presidential candidate.

Jun 7, 2023

  1. Meet Lebanon’s Jihad Azour, Christian Opposition Candidate for President (Al Monitor). Lebanon’s central Christian and opposition parties have officially endorsed the former minister and International Monetary Fund (IMF) official Jihad Azour as a presidential candidate this week, signaling a rare unified moment around a technocratic figure in an attempt to break the ongoing deadlock in the process.
  2. Lebanese Delegation Heading to Damascus Soon to Discuss Syrian Refugees (Syria TV). The Lebanese Minister of the Displaced, Issam Sharaf al-Din, said on Monday that preparations are underway for an official Lebanese delegation to visit Damascus to discuss important issues, on top of which is the file of the Syrian refugees.
  3. Michel Aoun goes to Syria to meet Assad (Enab Baladi). Lebanese and Syrian media said that the former Lebanese president went to Syria this morning, accompanied by the former Minister of State for Lebanese Presidential Affairs, Pierre Raffoul, to meet with the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad.
  4. France to Seek Removal of Lebanese Ambassador’s Immunity After Rape Accusation (Nahar Net). French authorities will on Monday ask Lebanon to lift the immunity of Beirut’s ambassador to Paris after an investigation was opened into the alleged rape and intentional violence by the envoy, a source said.

Jun 8, 2023

  1. Assad Calls for Dialogue and Consensus in Lebanon in Meeting with Aoun (Nahar Net). Former president and Free Patriotic Movement founder Michel Aoun held a meeting Tuesday in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad…A statement issued by Aoun’s office said the ex-president briefed Assad on “the dangerousness of the European stance that is rejecting the return of the displaced Syrians to their country and seeking to integrate them into the Lebanese society.”
  2. Hezbollah, Allies Coordinate Steps Ahead of Presidential Vote (Nahar Net). After Speaker Nabih Berri called for a presidential election session, a media report said Hezbollah and the Amal Movement launched coordination meetings to study the choices that can be taken in the face of the rival camp’s plan.

Jun 9, 2023

  1. Suspicion of Rape Haunts him…Lebanon Summons its Ambassador to Paris (Al Arabiya). After an investigation on suspicion of rape and intentional violence in light of two complaints from two former employees, Lebanon recalled its ambassador to Paris, Rami Adwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.
  2. Jihad Azour to Take Leave of Absence from IMF Amid Lebanon’s Presidential Race (The National). The financial agency has said that Lebanese presidential candidate Jihad Azour will temporarily step down from his role at the International Monetary Fund to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

Jun 13, 2023

  1. Hizballah Warns Israel:  ‘If You Make A Mistake, We’ll Enter Galilee’ (Tasnim Agency). Chief of Lebanese Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sayyid Hashim Safiuddin has made critical remarks about the regional situation and the struggle between the resistance and the Zionist regime in an interview with Tasnim…Safiuddin pointed to a recent exercise that Hizballah’s Radwan Special Unit carried out on the anniversary of the resistance’s victory, noting that Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has warned repeatedly that “if Israel makes any miscalculation, our missiles will hit Tel Aviv and the Radwan Unit will enter Galilee.”

Jun 14, 2023

  1. Sectarian Dispute Deepens Ahead of Lebanese Presidential Election Session (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Political positions and sectarian differences escalated within the Lebanese Parliament hours before the session to elect the President of the Republic. It was remarkable that the Mufti Al-Jaafari, the excellent Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan, accused the team that supports the candidacy of former Minister Jihad Azour of “isolating the resistance component that guarantees Lebanon’s sovereignty” (meaning “Hizballah”)…while a contact of paramount significance, was recorded by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, urging the election of a president for the republic without any obstacles.

Jun 15, 2023

  1. After a Heated Session, Lebanese Parliament Fails to Elect a President (France 24). Lebanese parliamentarians were again unable, for the twelfth time, to elect a president after neither Suleiman Franjieh, the candidate supported by Hezbollah, nor former Finance Minister Jihad Azour obtained a sufficient number of votes to win in a heated parliamentary session on Wednesday…Azour received the support of 59 votes out of 128 deputies in Parliament in a preliminary vote, less than the two-thirds required to win in the first round. In contrast, Franjieh got 51 votes in the first round.

Jun 16, 2023

  1. Violent Attacks on Beirut’s Banks, Again (Al Nahar). Several protesters smashed the glass facades of Bank Audi in the Sin El Fil area, east of Beirut, and others also went to several banks in the same place. According to video clips, protesters burned tires at the entrances to banks…A number of these banks are facing lawsuits inside and outside Lebanon. Bank headquarters also witnessed raids by citizens who demanded the return of their savings.

Jun 17-19, 2023

  1. World Bank Says Food Price Inflation in Lebanon Has Increased 350% in One Year (Al Nahar). Lebanon recorded the highest nominal inflation rate in the food inflation index around the world, reaching 350% in one year (April 2022 and April 2023), according to updated food security figures issued by the World Bank on June 1, which give a glimpse of the annual rates of change in the food index in Price inflation index in many countries around the world.

Jun 20, 2023

  1. World Bank Says Lebanon Received $6.4 Billion in Remittances From Expatriates in 2022 (Al Nahar). A World Bank report estimated the volume of expatriate remittances to Lebanon at $6.4 billion in 2022, ranking it third regionally, preceded only by Egypt ($28.3 billion) and Morocco ($11.2 billion). Lebanon ranked third in the world regarding the contribution of expatriate remittances to the GDP, which amounted to 35.7% in 2022…The report indicated that the average cost of inward remittances to Lebanon from high-income countries within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is still very high, with Lebanon emerging in two of the five most expensive money transfer corridors.

Jun 21, 2023

  1. Will Early Elections Be a Key to Hariri’s Return with a Popular Tsunami? (Lebanon 24). So far, many attempts to fill the void left by Hariri have not succeeded. For this reason, if the latter decides to run in the elections, then those with him and those against him will be on his side to return, because the political balance is badly required under the existing system. 

Jun 22, 2023

  1. Lebanon Turns to Europe after the Failure of its Efforts to Solve the Refugee Issue with the Assad Regime (Halab Today). The Lebanese government called on the European Union to “find a quick solution” to the Syrian refugee issue, while Beirut’s recent intensive moves to end this issue in cooperation with the Assad regime failed.
  2. Lebanese Political Forces Stick to their Positions as French Envoy Arrives in Beirut (Al Sharq Al Awsat).  The Lebanese political forces anticipated the arrival of the French presidential envoy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to Beirut, by fixing their conditions regarding the presidential elections…the “Free Patriotic Movement” renewed its demand to cancel the candidacy of the head of the “Marada Movement” Suleiman Franjieh…while Hezbollah insisted on including Franjieh at the negotiating table, which increases the complications related to the presidential election.

Jun 23, 2023

  1. In Pictures:  A Meeting and Hug Between Iranian and Saudi Ambassadors in Beirut (Al Nahar). The Saudi Ambassador to Beirut, Walid Bukhari, is holding a dinner under the title “Sustainable Diplomacy” this evening, to which he was invited by several ambassadors of Arab and Islamic countries, including the Iranian Ambassador, Mojtaba Amani, and the Chargé d’Affairs of the Syrian Embassy, Ali Daghman, amid expectations that this occasion will allow the discussion of the Lebanese presidential file.

Jun 27, 2023

  1. Lebanese Presidential File is on Compulsory Holiday Until After Eid (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The file of the presidential elections in Lebanon entered a forced holiday with the country entering the blessed Eid Al-Adha holiday this week. It seems clear through statements and data that the political parties are living in a state of anticipation, awaiting any external indications, especially after the French envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian’s recent visit to Beirut, where he met the concerned parties and will return in  July.
  2. Lebanon’s Presidential Vacancy Will Be Prolonged, and There Will Be No President Until America Approves (Al Nahar). There is no president for the republic at this stage, and the presidential vacancy may be on an extended leave until the settlement matures at a favorable moment with international and regional consensus, especially by the pillars of the five countries. However, on the eve of Le Drian’s visit to the Lebanese capital, there was a clear American position expressed by the American ambassador, Dorothy Shea, when she called for the election of a non-corrupt president, which was explained by those familiar with the inside matters that Washington is not satisfied with the French performance.

Jun 28, 2023

  1. Lebanese Security Seizes 450,000 Captagon Pills (Al Sharq Al Awsat ). The Internal Security Forces in Lebanon seized 450,000 Captagon pills in an international drug smuggling network warehouse in the Kokoudi area in the capital, Beirut…the Internal Security Forces said in a communiqué, “As a result of the continuous follow-up carried out by the Internal Security Forces units to pursue drug smuggling networks to and from the Lebanese territory and to arrest those involved in these cases, the Information Division reached confirmed data about an international drug smuggling network preparing to smuggle a large amount of Captagon pills to Kinshasa, through the port of Beirut, in preparation for re-exporting them to one of the Arab Gulf countries.”

Jun 29, 2023

  1. Hezbollah Links its Position on Lebanon’s Presidency to Iranian-American Negotiations (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The election of a President of the Republic enters a period of prolonged waiting unless French presidential envoy and former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian can return to Beirut with a magic wand that opens the door to the search for a third presidential candidate from among the traditional competitors (the former Minister Jihad Azour, and the Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh)…A former government source, who prefers not to be named, said Hizballah will not give away the card for electing a president for the republic for free, and it is currently depositing it with Iran to improve Iran’s conditions in its indirect negotiations with the United States, through mediation undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman.

Jun 30, 2023

  1. Food Prices in Lebanon are Now the Most Expensive in the World (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Lebanon advanced to first place during the first four months of this year in the list of actual inflation, as the rate of change in food prices reached 81 percent, compared to 35 percent for Venezuela and 31 percent for Zimbabwe. Lebanon recorded the second highest nominal inflation rate in food prices around the world, measured by the annual rate of change until the end of last May, while cumulative inflation exceeded the level of 4250 percent during the years of continuous economic collapse, noting the tendency of the monthly general price index to be relatively calm, due to the “circumstantial” stability of the price of the national currency, close to 93,000 pounds to the dollar.
  2. For the Second Time in a Month, IMF warns of Lebanon’s Worsening Currency Crisis (Sky Business News Arabia). With the Lebanon crisis still unresolved, the International Monetary Fund issued Thursday a report saying that the financial situation in Lebanon was exacerbated by the failure to take measures related to politics and private interests, which led to resistance to reforms…The fund said that the delay in reforms has led to a decrease in foreign currency deposits, which can eventually be recovered when the banking sector is restructured…And that $10 billion less can now be retrieved than in 2020.

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