Thu, 21 Sep 2023

BEIRUT, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said on Tuesday that the IMF is keen to sign a final agreement with Lebanon at the earliest possible to unlock aid for the crisis-hit country, a statement by Lebanon's Council of Ministers reported.

"We also want to complete the required steps from Lebanon, including the approval of reform projects in the parliament and addressing the exchange rate issue," Georgieva said during her meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

"The international interest in Lebanon is still there, but the required steps should be expedited in Lebanon as time has become very limited in light of the global economic stagnation and fears of global difficulties in energy and food," said Georgieva.

Lebanon has so far failed to form a new cabinet capable of implementing serious reforms to unlock necessary aid from the fund.

Lebanon has been mired in a full-blown financial crisis since late 2019, as its national currency has lost about 90 percent of its value on the parallel market. According to the United Nations, more than 80 percent of Lebanese people live below the poverty line.

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