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Lebanon to audit central bank accounts

Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab gives a statement following his meeting with outgoing prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut on 20 December, 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab in Beirut on 20 December, 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Lebanon will audit its central bank’s accounts in a bid to show transparency after launching debt restructuring talks with creditors, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Monday.

A crippling financial crisis that has gripped Lebanon for months saw it default on its hefty foreign-currency debt for the first time and launch restructuring talks in late March. Lebanon’s coronavirus lockdown has compounded woes in a country with a weakening currency, dwindling reserves, and soaring inflation.

READ: Lebanon’s Hezbollah MP slams US interference in Bank of Lebanon

Diab, whose cabinet has pledged to reshape the crisis-hit banking sector, made the comments on Monday in a speech at a meeting with officials from a Lebanon support group which includes the United States, Russia, and France.

Let me also highlight that His Excellency President Aoun and my government decided to perform an audit of the central bank’s accounts to make good on our promise of transparency and strengthen our negotiating position in this difficult period of Lebanon’s history,

he said.

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