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Lebanon’s Mikati expresses hope of IMF accord in weeks – Metro US

Lebanon’s Mikati expresses hope of IMF accord in weeks

FILE PHOTO: Lebanon’s Prime Minister-Designate Najib Mikati speaks after meeting
FILE PHOTO: Lebanon’s Prime Minister-Designate Najib Mikati speaks after meeting with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, at the presidential palace in Baabda

DOHA (Reuters) -A delegation from the International Monetary Fund will start talks in Lebanon on March 29, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Saturday, expressing hope of a deal in the coming weeks.

“Next Tuesday they will start their mission in Lebanon,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in Qatar.

“Hopefully … by the end of two weeks we will see the light,” Mikati said.

The Lebanese pound has lost more than 90% of its value since 2019, when the financial system collapsed, plunging the majority of Lebanese into poverty, according to UN agencies.

Reforms demanded by donors to provide assistance to Lebanon include steps to tackle widespread corruption, tax dodging and government deficits – the root causes of the meltdown.

“We don’t have an option, it is an obligatory path to negotiate with the IMF and to achieve an agreement,” he added.

(Reporting by Maher ChmaytelliEditing by Ros Russell)

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