Creating new perspectives since 2009

France: Lebanon's politicians show no sign of saving their country

March 11, 2021 at 11:51 pm

French Foreign Affair Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Baghdad, Iraq on 16 July 2020 [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

France’s foreign minister said on Thursday time was running out to prevent Lebanon collapsing and that he could see no sign that the country’s politicians were doing what they could to save it, reported Reuters.

France has spearheaded international efforts to rescue the former French protectorate from its deepest crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war by trying to use Paris’ historical influence to persuade squabbling politicians to adopt a reform roadmap and form a new government to unlock international aid.

“I would be tempted to qualify Lebanese politicians as guilty of not helping a country in danger,” Jean-Yves le Drian told a news conference in Paris.

“They all committed to act to create an inclusive government and committed to implementing indispensable reforms. That was seven months ago and nothing is moving. I think it’s not too late, but the delays are very small before collapse.

Read: Lebanon anti-gov’t protests escalate as currency plunges

Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri is at loggerheads with President Michel Aoun and has been unable to form a new government since October.

Groups of protesters have been burning tyres daily to block roads since the Lebanese currency tumbled to a new lows, deepening popular anger over Lebanon’s financial collapse.

“It’s up to the Lebanese authorities to take their destiny in hand knowing that the international community is looking with concern,” Le Drian said. “There is still time to act today, but tomorrow will be too late.”

France: Roadmap to aid Lebanon ‘unfulfilled’