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Growing Chinese interest in Tripoli Port, residents grieve official abuse

23-11-2018

In efforts to revive Lebanon’s second capital, the director of Tripoli Port, Ahmad Tamer, on November 21 discussed with the managing director of COSCO Chinese Shipping lines in Lebanon, Marwan Yamen, the possibility of initiating a maritime line between China and the Port. Both parties agreed on opening a direct weekly shipping route starting December 24, facilitating the company’s regular exports of Chinese products via the northern port. Recalling, this step comes after the inauguration on November 9 by the French Cmacgm Congo of a regular and fast freight forwarding service between the Port of Tripoli and China (c.f: https://bit.ly/2FCjoB8). Following the meeting, Tamer announced that as of the first quarter of 2019, the port will begin with implementation of projects financed by the Islamic Bank and which are expected to transform the port into a smart logistics facility. On the other hand, Al Diyar newspaper reported that the Tripoli Municipality has warned the owners of illegal shops and kiosks as well as the wheat marketplace to evacuate within a short period of time otherwise they will be bulldozed. This ultimatum, Al Diyar wrote, has sparked a wave of popular protest, namely from the inhabitants of the impoverished Tabbaneh neighborhood who voiced their disapproval of the abrupt municipal decision. Accusations were directed to some political leaders in the northern capital who have given up on Bab al Tabbaneh, Al Diyar said. While the majority of Tripoli residents support the right of the municipality in enforcing the laws, however, this right does not entitle them to confiscate the livelihoods of the people without securing an alternative, especially that this exacerbates the rate of poverty, deprivation and unemployment, Al Diyar reported. (Al Diyar, Al Mustaqbal, November 22, 2018)

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