Communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian - Lebanon (29 March 2021)
M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri. The Minister deplored the months-long total deadlock in the discussions aimed at forming a government in Lebanon, at a time when the country continues to descend into a major economic, social, humanitarian and political crisis, for which the Lebanese people are paying the price every day, putting the country under dangerous and unnecessary pressure. He reiterated that Lebanon’s political forces as a whole bear complete responsibility for this impasse.
In this context, the deliberate blocking of any prospect of a way out of the crisis, particularly from certain individuals in Lebanon’s political system, by ill-considered demands from another time, must end immediately. In this regard, the Minister recalled the discussion begun on his initiative with his European counterparts the previous week, with a view to identifying European Union leverage for stepping up pressure on those responsible for the deadlock.
As it has always done, France stands alongside the Lebanese people. Since the explosion of 4 August it has delivered and is continuing to deliver in humanitarian terms, to the direct benefit of the Lebanese population. To this end it has mobilized its European and international partners. But the solution for pulling Lebanon out of the crisis requires a competent government, ready to work seriously and in the general interest on implementing reforms of which everyone is aware. That is the responsibility of all Lebanon’s political forces, which have pledged before the French President to do so, for the sake of their country and the Lebanese people. The Minister told his European, regional and international counterparts that after seven months of deadlock, the time has come to step up the pressure to achieve this.