A French official in charge of following up on the implementation of the 2018 CEDRE conference said that potential oil and gas discoveries would be positive for Lebanon but should not be mistaken for a magical solution to the countries issues.
Oil and gas exploration is “a positive thing, but we have not reached it yet,” French diplomat Pierre Duquesne said at a news conference at the end of a visit to Lebanon in early September.
He said it was not “the magical solution that will resolve all difficulties.”
At CEDRE, the government pledged to undertake a raft of structural reforms, reduce the budget deficit and fight corruption, in an effort to unlock some $11 billion in soft loans pledged by the international community. In the preamble to the 2019 budget, the government issued assurances that Lebanon would not default on its public debt due to potential revenues from the oil and gas sector, CEDRE loans and the presence of large foreign currency high reserves.
“The goal of the reforms should not be to appease the foreign countries but rather to serve the Lebanese people and institutions and to revive Lebanon’s economy,” Duquesne said.
Photo source: The Daily Star website