News ID: 319436
Published: 0240 GMT January 16, 2022

Hezbollah, Amal end boycott of Lebanon's cabinet

Hezbollah, Amal end boycott of Lebanon's cabinet

Powerful Lebanese groups Hezbollah and Amal said they would end a boycott of cabinet sessions, opening the way for ministers to meet after a three-month gap that has seen the economic crisis deepen and currency collapse further.

The groups, which back several ministers in a government made up of members from across the political and sectarian spectrum, said the decision was driven by a desire to approve the 2022 budget and to discuss an economic recovery, according to Reuters.

The failure to hold cabinet meetings has delayed talks on a recovery plan with the International Monetary Fund, seen as vital to unlocking international support to lift the country out of a crisis that has driven swathes of the nation into poverty.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a statement he welcomed the decision to end the boycott and would call for a cabinet meeting as soon as he received a draft 2022 budget from the Finance Ministry.

A government source told Reuters there was not expected to be cabinet session in the coming week as budget preparations were still under way and figures for a financial recovery plan were being drawn up.

Mikati has said his government was seeking to sign a preliminary agreement for an IMF support programme in February.

An IMF spokesperson told Reuters that virtual talks would be held with Lebanese authorities in the last week of January.


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