DUBAI - A forensic audit of the Lebanese central bank by Alvarez & Marsal began on Thursday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Twitter, indicating fresh momentum on a condition for Lebanon to secure foreign aid amid a financial meltdown.

The plan for an audit had hit a roadblock about a year ago when restructuring consultancy A&M withdrew, saying it had not received the information it needed from the central bank.

Parliament agreed in December 2020 to lift banking secrecy for one year.

Aoun also said work was under way to start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a programme to rescue Lebanon from its economic meltdown. An IMF official had said he hoped negotiations for a programme would start before the new year.  

(Reporting by Daniel Moshashai, Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Timothy Heritage and Alex Richardson) ((;))