France Urges Lebanese Officials to Assume their Responsibilities
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian again sounded the alarm on Monday about the Lebanese situation, urging officials to assume their responsibilities if they want to receive foreign support to help them tackle the unprecedented economic and financial crisis.
France had previously reminded Lebanese politicians about the need to introduce reforms to address the dire situation in the country. On January 25, President Emmanuel Macron said that his country hopes Lebanon’s new government would work on achieving the people's hopes by implementing the reforms pledged during the 2018 CEDRE conference.
Le Diran’s remarks reveal that Paris is “ready” to work with the government of Hassan Diab despite the circumstances that surrounded the naming of the prime minister and then the lineup of his “one-sided” cabinet, which is dominated by Hezbollah and its allies.
The French position was revealed when Le Drian refused to describe it as “Hezbollah’s government.”
When asked about the issue, the minister replied: “I am not in a position to judge the Lebanese government. We shall wait for its policy statement.”
France believes that the economic and financial situation in Lebanon requires of a cabinet that can take decisions and stop the country from collapsing.
Le Drian was also keen to explain to the Lebanese government that the “soft attitude” adopted by Paris and the International Support Group for Lebanon does not mean that it will be granted a “blank check”.
In this regard, the minister said that the “ball is now in the Lebanese court. The cabinet should start implementing measures taken during the Paris meeting to support Lebanon.”
However, French sources were “skeptical” about the Lebanese politicians’ ability to address the country’s woes, doubting that the same political class that led the country to its worst economic crisis in decades would also be able to resolve it.