Berri Meets Shea, Asks Parliament to Debate Subsidization, Reserves
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday held separate talks with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, U.N. Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon Najat Rochdi and Lebanon’s caretaker Deputy PM and Defense Minister Zeina Akar.
The meetings come after the postponement of this week’s round of negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over their disputed maritime borders, which are being held under the auspices of the U.S. and the U.N.
A Lebanese official confirmed that the talks have been postponed until further notice. The official did not give a reason for the postponement and also did not elaborate. An Israeli official meanwhile said the American mediators "decided to focus on dialogue between the two sides at the moment, in order to prepare the ground for the next round of talks."
Separately, Berri asked the parliamentary committees of finance and budget, administration and justice, national economy and planning, public health, and labor and social affairs to hold a joint session at 10:30 am Wednesday to “study the issue of subsidization and obligatory reserves.”
Media reports have quoted an official source as saying that the central bank is studying lowering the threshold for obligatory foreign exchange reserves in order to continue subsidizing key imports next year.