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Paris Says Will do ‘Everything’ to Help Resolve Lebanon’s Crisis

Paris Says Will do ‘Everything’ to Help Resolve Lebanon’s Crisis

Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 - 12:30
France's President Emmanuel Macron looks on during a meeting with US President Donald Trump (not pictured), ahead of the NATO summit in Watford, in London, Britain, December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Asharq Al-Awsat

France will do "everything" to help resolve Lebanon's "deep crisis", President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday, as the country’s new government faces protests and a nosediving economy.

"We will do everything, during this deep crisis that they are going through, to help ... our Lebanese friends," Macron said, speaking alongside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during a visit to Jerusalem.

PM Hassan Diab’s government came on Tuesday, three months after former Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in October following pressure from protesters who called for sweeping reforms and a cabinet of technocrats.

Lebanon's economic crisis is rooted in years of corruption and waste that have generated one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens.

A grinding dollar liquidity crisis and restrictions imposed by banks on dollar transactions has compounded the crisis, leaving Lebanon on the brink of default. 

Lebanon won pledges of over $11 billion at a conference in Paris last year conditional on reforms that it has failed to implement.

While pledging support to France's "Lebanese friends," on Wednesday, Macron also stressed that he would remain "vigilant" regarding any "terrorist activity" from Lebanon that could threaten either the Lebanese people or Israel.

He was referring to any possible Hezbollah operation against Israel.

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