After several announcements that France would sanction Lebanese politicians accused of delaying the formation of a new government and of corruption, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs is expected to travel to Lebanon for a 2-day official visit next week.

This announcement by Lebanese channels comes as Jean-Yves le Drian yesterday indicated that entry restrictions to certain Lebanese personalities as a sanction have already been imposed.

On a national basis, we have started to put in place restrictions on access to French territory against personalities involved in the current political blockage or involved in corruption. We reserve the right to adopt additional measures against all those who prevent a way out of the crisis, and we will do so in coordination with our international partners.
Jean Yves Le Drian, April 29, 2021

At the same time, discussions are reportedly underway with France’s European partners to extend these sanctions to European level. It would be a matter of making Lebanese officials understand that henceforth the international community will not remain silent in the face of those who “hinder a way out of the crisis”.

Jean-Yves le Drian had, on several occasions in recent months, sounded the alarm in the face of the current situation in the Pays des Cèdres, in particular with his appeal “ help us help you “in July 2020, already judging that time was running out to reform Lebanon.

He has even since estimated that the current risk is to see Lebanon disappear .

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.

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