IMF Deal Breakthrough Is Within Reach for Crisis-Hit Lebanon

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Lebanon may be closer than ever to breaking a two-year deadlock in talks with the International Monetary Fund, a senior official said, a step that could help draw a line under one of the world’s worst financial crises in over a century, Bloomberg News reported. The economy is in the grip of hyperinflation with the currency in freefall after the government defaulted on over $30 billion in international debt. But as key legislation makes its way through parliament, Lebanese authorities are turning more optimistic they can reach a staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender before elections in May, Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami said in an interview. An IMF delegation is in Beirut this week on a mission that authorities are hopeful will conclude by signing a so-called Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, a list of measures the country needs to implement to pave the way for disbursement of up to $5 billion in aid. It may unlock $11 billion in other financial commitments made to Lebanon in the past few years. Read more.
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