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18:39 - 04/04/20210
Information / translation ...
A report by the British newspaper The National said, Sunday, that Lebanon and Iraq are planning to replace 200 million dollars worth of heavy fuel with in-kind services, including medical expertise.
"The deal has been under discussion for two to three years," the report translated by the agency / Al-Maalouma / Interim Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar, which includes Lebanon's purchase of 500,000 tons of heavy fuel from Iraq , currently valued at about $ 200 million.
He added, “The Lebanese government will deposit the money in a special account in the Central Bank of Lebanon in Iraq to spend it locally on any type of services, such as health services,” noting that “it is not up to us, it is up to them to decide what they will do with the money.”
The report continued that “since the beginning of the worst economic crisis ever in Lebanon in mid-2019, local banks, including the Central Bank, have restricted access to foreign currencies. As a result, the value of the local currency has declined by about 85 percent in the parallel market despite Its survival is officially pegged at 1507 Lebanese pounds to the dollar. ”
He continued that “for depositors who have dollar accounts - locally called Lebanese dollars - they can withdraw cash at the rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds to a dollar. They cannot transfer money abroad, while the Minister of Energy said that this means that Iraq will spend Lebanon’s fuel payments in dollars or Lebanese pounds. ”
The report stated that "the interim Minister of Health Hamad Hassan and his Iraqi counterpart signed in Beirut a preliminary agreement to exchange medical expertise in exchange for fuel supplies."
The report indicated that “the final agreement is expected to be signed by the Lebanese and Iraqi prime ministers at a date that has not yet been determined, while the Lebanese Minister of Energy and the Iraqi Oil Ministry will agree on the quantity and price, while Ghajar said,“ The contract will be between me and SOMO, ”referring to the Oil Marketing Organization Iraqi government. End / 25 z
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