Hariri Denies UAE ‘Surprise’ is $1.4 Billion BDL Deposit
Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday denied a media report claiming that the United Arab Emirates intends to deposit $1.4 billion at Banque du Liban as part of a support package for Lebanon.
“The MTV channel has quoted sources as alleging that the surprise that PM Hariri has spoken of might involve a $1.4 billion deposit at BDL without interest,” Hariri’s press office said in a statement.
“The press office would like to stress that this report is totally baseless and untrue, and it urges everyone to halt speculations that might harm the positive results of PM Hariri’s successful visit to the UAE,” the office added.
Hariri had on Tuesday announced that “the Emiratis have promised to make investments and offer Lebanon financial aid.”
“Efforts are underway to fulfill the promise,” Hariri told reporters as he wrapped up an official visit to the UAE.
“We are negotiating with them over the investments that they wish to make in the various sectors, in addition to financial investments in some banks or the central bank,” Hariri added.
The UAE had on Monday announced that it will allow its citizens to again go to Lebanon, ending a yearslong ban on travel to the country.
Emiratis had been banned from traveling to Lebanon over kidnapping fears amid neighboring Syria's civil war. The UAE also opposes Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hizbullah.
The announcement came during Hariri’s visit to the UAE.
The premier is seeking financial support for Lebanon, which is going through an economic crisis. The country faces one of the highest debt ratios in the world, at $86 billion or more than 150% of the country's gross domestic product.