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US, EU mull sanctions on Lebanon politicians over government formation deadlock

April 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri (R) and Lebanese President, Michel Aoun (L) are seen during a meeting as Saad al-Hariri presented President Michel Aoun with a line-up of 18 members of cabinet at Baabda Presidential Palace in Beirut, Lebanon on 9 December 2020. [Lebanese Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

The US, the European Union (EU) and many Arab countries are considering imposing sanctions, including freezing assets and travel bans, on a number of Lebanese politicians found responsible for the inability to form a government, Western diplomatic sources have reported.

The Western sources have urged Lebanese leaders to take reform steps without waiting for miracles from abroad.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is reported to have increased pressure on Lebanese leaders to form a government, pressing them in personal phone calls for an immediate halt to what he called the “deliberate obstruction” that is driving the country towards collapse.

For nearly seven months, Lebanese politicians have been unable to agree on who should be included in the new government.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri have been exchanging accusations about who is responsible for the stalemate.

Hezbollah: Time to end deadlock and agree new Lebanese government