Arrived last night in Lebanon, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves le Drian went this morning to the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun for an interview.
Jean Yves le Drian should also visit the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri and the Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Rahi but should for the time being boycott the Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri unless there is a last minute surprise.
Already yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke on Twitter.
We will deal firmly with those who stand in the way of government formation. We have taken national action. This is just the beginning. My visit also confirms France’s solidarity in the field of education, medicine and antiques and its support for the Lebanese who are deploying all their efforts for the good of their country.
This visit comes 8 months after the resignation of the Hassan Diab government and while the current training process remains blocked while relatives of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri consider that the latter can step down.
Jean Yves le Drian could be the bearer of a list of people subject to economic sanctions.
A country without a government as the economic crisis hits it hard
Lebanon has been without government since the resignation, on August 10, of outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
The formation of a new government is considered as one of the preconditions for the relaunch of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in order to obtain the release of financial aid from the international community in the face of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through.
Following Mustafa Adib’s failure to form a cabinet, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned following major protests in October 2019, was tasked with forming a new government in October 2020.
In an attempt to unblock the situation, the former prime minister promised the Amal movement to allocate the portfolio of the finance ministry to a member of the Shiite community. He also reiterated that Lebanon could do without a state of default, thus denying the gravity of the economic crisis however experienced by the population, with 55% of it now living below the poverty line while the economic recession has reached 29% according to some reports for the year 2020.
However, Saad Hariri’s proposals for an 18-member cabinet clash with the Presidency of the Republic, who points out that if the Shiite and Sunni communities choose their representatives, the Christian representatives in the new cabinet would also be chosen by the former. designated minister. General Aoun de facto considers that the current proposals of the Prime Minister contravene both the Lebanese constitution and the national pact.
The latter, for his part, accuses the head of state of wanting to obtain a blocking third party within his new cabinet.