Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Beirut on July 12 and 13. He underscored that France is fully committed, over the long term, to supporting the Lebanese population, in line with the efforts undertaken, notably following the explosion on August 4 in the port of Beirut. He indicated that a new meeting to mobilize international assistance for the Lebanese would be forthcoming.
The Minister Delegate noted the very concrete contribution made by French experts to the rehabilitation of the port of Beirut and the progressive reconstruction of this infrastructure, which is vital to Lebanon’s economic development. He inaugurated a treatment station for grain stored in silos, funded by a French donation. He emphasized, in this regard, that French support would continue.
Mr. Riester met with Lebanese students and entrepreneurs to hear their expectations, discuss the future of the country’s economic model, and express France’s desire and that of its companies to assist with entrepreneurial initiatives and help with Lebanon’s recovery.
He also met with President Michel Aoun, reiterating the urgent need for Lebanese leaders to form a credible, effective government that works toward conducting the necessary reforms, in the interest of the country and in accordance with its people’s aspirations. He underscored France’s desire to act with its regional and international partners, specifically following the agreement in principle of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on July 12 on the establishment of a sanctions regime to pressure those responsible for the political deadlock, to end the crisis. He also recalled that international financial and economic assistance to Lebanon would still be conditioned on the establishment of credible reforms.
With Lebanon sinking further each day into a major economic, social, humanitarian and political crisis whose price is being paid by the Lebanese population, France stands with the Lebanese people, as it has always done.