After much speculation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed this week that Lebanon has formally requested its “advice and technical expertise on the macroeconomic challenges facing the country.” As part of the request, the IMF will send a team to help form a plan to allow the heavily indebted country to avoid what looks to be an imminent sovereign default.

“Any decisions on debt are the authorities’, to be made in consultation with their own legal and financial advisers,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice says, seeming to preempt any future blame that may be cast the IMF’s way. “I would want to stress, this is technical assistance. They have not requested financial assistance,” he says. (CONTINUED - 903 WORDS)