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Lebanon is appointing a new Prime Minister amid a swirling crisis.

The country’s president has designated a diplomat, Mustafa Adib, to form a government that must address an economic meltdown and the aftermath of the Beirut explosion.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Lebanese political leaders had agreed to form a government of experts in the next two weeks.

Macron announced that it is expected the government will start to deliver a roadmap of reforms within six to eight weeks.

“There is no blank cheque,” Macron told a news conference in the Lebanese capital.

If reforms, including an audit of the central bank, were not being passed within that deadline, international aid would be withheld,

he added.

Key statements

  • Says we will never turn back on Lebanon’s need for help.
  • Says cooperation to establish cause of port blast is going well.
  • Says we need better coordination on aid between united nations, other NGOs.
  •  Says Lebanese authorities must draw lesson from the tragedy.
  • Says all political forces he met agreed new govt will be formed in under 15 days.
  • Says it would be crazy to try to go back to business as usual.
  • Says all political forces he met gave him their commitment to reform roadmap.
  • Says was given undertakings that corresponding laws will be submitted to parliament soon.
  • Says road map includes central bank, banking reform.
  • Says the international community will support the reforms with financial aid.
  • Says not giving a black cheque today.
  • Says we demand progress in the next few weeks.
  • Says we’ve seen reforms postponed and stifled too many times in past decades.
  • Says I expect Lebanese government to deliver on promises within 8 weeks.
  • Says not giving a blank cheque today.

Market implications

Lebanon was already suffering a major economic downturn before the explosion, which left at least 154 people dead, 5,000 injured and 300,000 homeless.

Lebanon is rich in minerals and metals, exporting gold and copper. The nation is firmly on the emerging markets map but it has sought concessions from creditors this year due to tumbling commodities prices and saddled with billions of dollars in debt. 

Some political stability, a weaker dollar and higher commodity prices will go a long way to help the nation through the crisis. 

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