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France, EU Ponder Sanctions for Lebanese Politicians

France, EU Ponder Sanctions for Lebanese Politicians

Thursday, 22 April, 2021 - 08:45
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. (AFP)

The French government and the European Union are preparing proposals that could see asset freezes and travel bans imposed on Lebanese politicians accused of obstructing the formation of the Lebanese government.


France has led efforts to help Lebanon but failed in pushing the various factions to agree on a cabinet formation, let alone initiate reforms that could allow the influx of foreign aid.


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the French lawmakers about the concrete proposals against the same people who have abandoned the general interest for their own personal interests.


Le Drian indicated that if the Lebanese politicians do not fulfill their responsibilities, “we will not hesitate to assume ours.”


He added that the European Union cannot stand idly by while Lebanon is collapsing.


The minister warned senior Lebanese officials that the EU is currently exploring ways to exert pressure on those who stand behind obstructing a solution to the political and economic crisis in the country.


The French Foreign Ministry said that Le Drian spoke to President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to clarify his position.


Two diplomats also said Le Drian's staff were reviewing how the EU could set up the sanctions.


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