Middle east

France’s foreign minister: Macron will return to Beirut and pushes Lebanon to change

The foreign minister of France reported on Tuesday that the leaders of Lebanon must not use the blast that destroyed parts of Beirut in this month as a reason to mask the reality that the country was in a horrible situation.

Before that a vessel with 2,500 tonnes of assistance set sail for the Lebanese capital, Jean-Yves Le Drian informed reporters in the southern port city of Marseille: The catastrophe should not be used as a pretext to obscure the reality that existed before … that is, a country on the brink of collapse. We hope that this moment will be the moment that allows the Lebanese authorities, the Lebanese officials, to take the necessary leap for a government with a mission to initiate the essential reforms that everyone knows (are needed).

It should be noted that France has been managing diplomatic efforts for approximately two years to convince Lebanon to accelerate the reforms and secure foreign assistance needed to compensate for a financial crisis.


Furthermore, after the big blast that happened on Aug. 4 and destroyed entire neighborhoods, killed more than 170 people and made 250,000 displaced, Macron hurried to Beirut in the hope using the support of international reconstruction aid to convince the factions of Lebanon to choose a new administration directed by individuals not tainted by corruption and supported by foreign donors. But, there was slow progress while certain diplomats frequently discouraged about the situation.


The outgoing government composed principally of technocrat ministers, however, those were chosen by sectarian heads that exerted influence on them and blocked reforms. So, Politicians worry that reforms would finish their system of patronage.


When he asked if the process to form a new government was so slow, Le Drian answered that there had to be awakening now. He also said: That is what the president (Macron) indicated to the Lebanese politicians a few days ago and it’s what he will tell them again when he returns soon.


Otherwise, diplomatic sources reported that Macron is urging the political leaders of Lebanon to install an interim technocratic government capable to establish reforms, obtain public confidence, and convince donors to release billions of dollars in assistance. Drian said: I think the awareness is happening and we are ready to help. But we are not going to take the place of the Lebanese officials.


A diplomatic source reported that several aids being sent to Lebanon this week was food, and also healthcare goods to help the country in the treatment of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. One official declared that the French embassy would distribute directly the aid to humanitarian groups to guarantee that it did not fall into the wrong hands.

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