Average Outlook

Published October 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Lebanon’s economy, impaired by a mounting debt burden, is in danger of collapsing. Even a cessation of conflict will not, at least in the short-term, bring about the required stability for sustainable development. Moreover, future developments are not tied solely to actions of the Lebanese government, since other players are also active in the game. Even though it no longer possesses the powerful bargaining chip with which to exert pressure on Israel to relinquish the Golan Heights, the lingering reality is that Syria, which maintains approximately 35,000 troops, remains the main power broker in Lebanon. Without a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, levels of violence in southern Lebanon will continue to rise and fall upon Syria’s command. 

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