IMF says new Lebanese government asked advice on its economic plan

IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice attends a press conference at the 2016 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund Headquarters. (AFP)

A day after receiving a vote of confidence from parliament, the government in Beirut on Wednesday asked the International Monetary Fund to provide advice on its economic plan, a fund spokesman said.

However, the IMF statement made no mention of financial assistance for crisis-battered Lebanon.

The authorities asked for “advice and technical expertise on the macroeconomic challenges facing the economy,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement.

Part of the mission of the Washington-based crisis lender is to offer “advice to its member countries on policies and reforms to restore macro-stability and promote growth.”

However, “any decisions on debt are the authorities’, to be made in consultation with their own legal and financial advisors,” Rice said.

The country is on the brink of defaulting on its sovereign debt, with a $1.2 billion Eurobond payment due next month.

Lebanon’s parliament on Tuesday backed the cabinet and program of incoming Prime Minister Hassan Diab in a confidence vote amid widespread and at times violent protests.

Last Update: 06:02 KSA 09:02 - GMT 06:02