Lebanon News

French official says no international consensus on Lebanon: Al-Arabiya

In this April 1, 2016 file photo, the French flag above the skyline of the French capital with the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides Dome and rooftops are seen from the colonnade of the Pantheon Dome in Paris. (AP/Francois Mori)

BEIRUT: An adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron said that there is no consensus within the international community to find a solution to the crisis Lebanon has been facing for the last month, Al-Arabiya reported.

“There is some kind of international indifference to Lebanon,” the Arab news station quoted the adviser as saying Friday.

While the adviser stressed France’s support for Lebanon under “all circumstances,” he added that the problem is that “there is no unanimity between the Lebanese parties or the countries that have influence in Lebanon,” according to Al-Arabiya.

Later Friday, local media reported that a French diplomatic source said that France was trying to mobilize the international community to support Lebanon but that it would not impose external solutions.

The source added that France was aiming to organize an international meeting in the coming weeks to help Lebanon on condition that the next government pledges to implement in-depth reforms.

“What we can do and will continue to do is help mobilize other international partners,” the source said.

At the CEDRE conference organized by Paris in April 2018, the international community pledged $11 billion in soft loans and grants to Lebanon in return for major reforms, most notably a steep reduction in the fiscal deficit. Neither side has fulfilled their commitments.

Last week, Macron and his government expressed their willingness to help Lebanon in a message delivered to President Michel Aoun by French envoy Cristophe Farnaud.

Lebanon is drifting toward a prolonged political crisis that could lead to a much-feared economic collapse.

Attempts to name a new prime minister and form a new government to appease a protesting public have been deadlocked as a result of the main political parties’ conflicting positions on the shape of the next Cabinet.

Thousands of Lebanese, united by their outrage against the ruling political elite and rampant corruption, have been staging daily street demonstrations and sit-ins across Lebanon for over a month to press their demands for a change in the country’s sectarian-based ruling system, an end to corruption and early elections.

 

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