Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Published on April 8, 2021
1. Lebanon – Reply by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the Senate (Paris – April 7, 2021)
You described the situation in Lebanon and what’s actually happening there; let me add to your description by informing you that Lebanon’s gross domestic product has been reduced to what it was in the 2000s.
This crisis isn’t linked to a natural disaster; it has clearly-identified people responsible, because faced with this situation, Lebanon’s political forces are refusing to agree on the composition of a government. Their blindness is a crime of non-assistance to a country in danger, and yet as you said, commitments were made on September 1, 2020, including on all the reforms to be carried out, which everyone is familiar with.
The deliberate blocking of any prospect of a way out of the crisis, by certain players in the Lebanese political system in particular, through ill-considered demands and demands from another time, must stop.
I’d like to inform you that concrete proposals are being drawn up vis-à-vis these very people who have abandoned the general interest in favor of their personal interests. And if certain Lebanese political players don’t shoulder their responsibilities, we won’t hesitate to shoulder ours in this respect. The decisions they take or refuse to take over the next few days will be decisive.
That was the message President Macron and I conveyed to Lebanon’s main leaders yesterday.
France, for its part, continues to stand with the Lebanese people. We know that Lebanon can count on Lebanese men and women of considerable merit, within civil society, who are intent on genuinely working to build tomorrow’s Lebanon.
So we intend to work with those who embody the hope and future of that country, and we’ll spare no effort to that end.