Lebanon Averts Internet Cut as Sehnaoui Confirms Payment of Dues [Naharnet (Lebanon)]
(Naharnet (Lebanon) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Lebanon avoided being cut from the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) consortium project after caretaker Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui announced that the country had paid its dues, he announced via Twitter on Saturday. He revealed that the payment was made at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. "The payment problem was solved thanks to a successful coordination between the Minister of Finance and myself," he tweeted. Earlier, al-Akhbar and al-Mustaqbal newspaper had warned that Lebanon's Internet connection was at threat over its failure to pay its dues to the IMEWE consortium project. Sources from the Telecommunications Ministry told al-Akhbar that the consortium had warned Lebanon that it should pay its dues of some 1.6 million dollars before a November 3 deadline otherwise the consortium would be forced to vote Lebanon out of the project. The sources said that this warning was given "a while ago" to Abdul Monem Youssef, the general director of the state-owned OGERO Telecom, but he only informed Sehnaoui of the development on Friday. His memorandum held the minister responsible for any repercussions that may erupt should Lebanon fail to meet the deadline, which would cost the country some 60 percent of its Internet, said al-Akhbar. Al-Mustaqbal reported however that OGERO Telecom had sent the memorandum to the Ministry on May 21, but it did not receive any reply from Sehnaoui. Youssef then informed state officials, starting with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati, of the development. Al-Mustaqbal explained that cabinet had tasked on December 13, 2011 the telecommunications minister of "representing Lebanon at all agreements linked to the IMEWE cable".
This task includes paying Lebanon's dues and performing maintenance operations on the cable, which therefore exempts OGERO Telecom from any legal or contractual obligations towards the consortium, explained the daily. Naharnet
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