| 1 October 2022, Saturday |

Is it possible that Lebanon’s diplomatic missions may shut their doors?

Lebanon is facing a new crisis in addition to the ones that have been pursuing it for more than two years as a result of the economic crisis and the collapse of the national currency.

However, this time the dilemma is tied to Lebanon’s international image, and diplomatic posts are under threat of closure.

According to Reuters, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a circular requesting its embassies to seek donations from Lebanese communities to fund their expenditures.

According to the circular issued on January 25, the ministry is considering closing several diplomatic missions due to the economic crisis, noting that the employees of foreign missions have not received their salaries for the month of January.

Last December, Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib announced the start of implementing a plan to decrease expenditure at embassies, including rent and diplomat pay, in order to save the treasury $18 million out of a $95 million budget.

Professor of International Law Antoine Sfeir told Sawt Beirut International in an interview that the issue is related to the state’s finances and the dangerous level it has reached in terms of the inability to spend, particularly in foreign currency, for diplomatic missions abroad that represent Lebanon.

He believed that the feasibility of some missions in countries that no longer have economic or political importance and thus no benefit to Lebanon should be reassessed, and that this matter is very important to know the priorities, pointing out that there are major countries that do not have missions all over the world, but Lebanon is this small country that has many missions all over the world.

He pointed to the dangers of closing some embassies because this is a matter of representing Lebanon, in addition to the fate of ambassadors after their return to Lebanon.

  • Sawt Beirut International