Q: The Lebanon Crisis: France has lobbied for the signature of an agreement with the IMF but nothing has been finalized yet, despite the complete lack of electricity in the country. The capital city of Beirut has gone without water for two weeks now and Covid-19 is rampant once again! Given that four months remain before the end of President Michel Aoun’s term and Ambassador Pierre Duquesne (who is in charge of coordinating international support to Lebanon) is there on the ground, what are the most recent efforts undertaken by France to save this country?
A: France continues to reaffirm its demands and expectations – which are shared by the Lebanese people and the international community – with the Lebanese authorities.
It is the responsibility of Najib Mikati, the Prime Minister appointed on June 23, to proceed without delay in forming a government that can implement the emergency measures and structural reforms that the country needs in order to recover and that were negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). More than a month has passed since the May 15th legislative elections so the responsibility now lies with all the Lebanese political groups represented in the Parliament. In light of the ongoing deterioration of the living conditions of the Lebanese people, it is up to their representatives to finally and immediately take action for the good of the country.
Moreover, France reiterates its commitment to seeing the presidential election take place in compliance with the schedule set forth in the Lebanese constitution.
France remains deeply committed to the Lebanese people.
Q: The Lebanon Crisis: Gas and oil extraction and exploration in the Mediterranean could cover the costs of the reconstruction and rebuild the Lebanese economy, yet it is taking a long time for them to get started and, despite the United States’ mediation efforts, no agreement has been signed by Lebanon and the Jewish state. The latter country is preparing to exploit the oil fields that are the subject of a dispute. Given the threats made by Hezbollah, this risks setting off the region. Could France intervene?
A: France supports any efforts that could help bolster regional stability. We encourage the different parties to pursue current efforts in order to make progress toward a negotiated settlement that can increase stability and collective prosperity.
Regarding Lebanese public finances, France reiterates that it is the responsibility of Najib Mikati, the Prime Minister appointed on June 23, to proceed without delay in forming a government that can implement the emergency measures and structural reforms that the country needs in order to recover and that were negotiated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).