Lebanon's Hariri and France's Macron discuss Lebanese crisis

Lebanon's Hariri and France's Macron discuss Lebanese economic crisis and political impasse
2 min read
11 February, 2021
Macron has been spearheading international efforts to rescue Lebanon from its deepest crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Macron welcomes Hariri at the Elysee Presidential Palace on November 18, 2017. [Getty]
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and French President Emmanuel Macron held a private meeting at the Élysée Palace on Wednesday evening, to discuss Beirut's deepening economic crisis and the hurdles preventing the formation of a new Lebanese government.

News of the meeting was disclosed by Hariri on Twitter, while the French presidency did not include it on Macron's public agenda.  

"Presidents Hariri and Macron discussed the internal Lebanese difficulties that hinder the formation of the government and the possible ways to overcome them," the Twitter post read.

The two heads of state discussed French efforts to resolve the crisis over a two-hour dinner, Hariri added.

The Sunni Future Movement leader arrived in Paris on Tuesday for a two-day visit to hold talks with several French officials, including Macron.

He was given the task of forming a government after Mustapha Adib resigned in September but has been struggling to cobble together a cabinet to share power with all Lebanese parties, including Iran-aligned Hezbollah.

Macron will head to Riyadh this month to hold talks with Saudi Arabia regarding the current regional issues, including Lebanon's own political and economic problems.

The French president has been spearheading international efforts to rescue the former French protectorate from its deepest crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

He has aimed to persuade Lebanon's squabbling politicians to adopt a roadmap to root out corruption, a prerequisite for international donors including the IMF to unlock billions of dollars in aid.

Read also: With Lokman Slim's assassination, Lebanon sinks even further into impunity

These efforts have so far failed. At an international conference for humanitarian aid attended by foreign and international donors in December, Macron slammed Lebanese politicians.

"The commitments... have not been respected," Macron said with regards to the formation of a reform-minded government.

This will be the first step in a French plan towards unlocking massive financial aid to rescue the country from economic downfall.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected