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France Urges Int’l Partners to Raise Pressure on Lebanese Politicians

France Urges Int’l Partners to Raise Pressure on Lebanese Politicians

Wednesday, 23 September, 2020 - 18:00
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. (AFP)

France’s foreign minister on Wednesday called on international partners to up the pressure on Lebanese political forces to form a government and again warned that only once reforms were underway would vital financial aid arrive.

“The political forces have still not managed to agree on forming a government.” Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a speech to members of the International Support Group for Lebanon (ISG). “Strong and convergent pressures on our part are therefore necessary to push Lebanese officials to respect their commitments.”

International support group attendees include the five permanent UN Security Council members, key regional powers and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

“What is at stake is the future of Lebanon,” Le Drian said during the virtual meeting held as part of the United Nations General Assembly. “Without reforms, there will be no international financial aid.”

The ISG called on Lebanon's political leaders to unite to form a government.

"Members of the ISG urged Lebanon's leaders to unite in support of the timely formation of a government able to meet the legitimate aspirations expressed by the Lebanese people," the group said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for swift formation of a government to be followed by tangible steps to implement economic, social and political reforms.

Lebanon’s government resigned under pressure in the wake of the massive August 4 Beirut port explosion, and Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib has been unable to form a new government amid a political impasse over which faction gets to have the Finance Ministry, as well as other disputes.

The disastrous port explosion “must be a wake-up call," Guterres told the group.

“Without such action, the country’s ability to recover and rebuild will be jeopardized, adding to the turmoil and hardship of the Lebanese people,” Guterres added.

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