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Almost a month after the deadly explosion in the port of Beirut, Emmanuel Macron arrived in Lebanon on Monday evening, where he was received by his counterpart Michel Aoun. The French president again called for a “mission government as quickly as possible” to implement a series of reforms.
Emmanuel Macron, who begins his second visit to Lebanon in less than a month, arrived in the country of the Cedars, Monday, August 31, in the early evening. The purpose of this express trip is to try to encourage Lebanese officials to tackle the roots of the economic, financial and social crisis in which the country has been plunged for months and that the explosion of August 4 in the port of Beirut got even worse.
“Lebanese, you are like brothers to the French. I promised you: I am coming back to Beirut to take stock of emergency aid and build with you the conditions for reconstruction and stability”, the president tweeted, in French and Arabic.
Lebanese, you are like brothers to the French. I made the promise to you: I am coming back to Beirut to take stock of emergency aid and build with you the conditions for reconstruction and stability.
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 31, 2020
Reporting on international aid
Asked by the press on his arrival at the airport, Emmanuel Macron listed the reasons for his visit to Beirut: first, to report on the international and humanitarian aid deployed since the explosion.
France and the United Nations organized an international conference on August 9 to organize this aid “with a desire for transparency, to work with civil society and the involvement of NGOs”, declared the president.
“I will have the opportunity to come back to the support for the Lebanese people. Always in a spirit of cooperation and commitment,” he added, announcing a visit to the port on September 1. The president will also attend the commemorations of the centenary of Greater Lebanon on Tuesday.
“A government of mission as quickly as possible”
Last but not least, the French president is in Beirut to “take stock” of the political situation in the country. Emmanuel Macron, who is to meet several Lebanese politicians on Tuesday, was to meet on Monday evening with President Michel Aoun and Saad Hariri, former Prime Minister and leader of the Current of the Future.
“I saw that a process had started in recent hours which has allowed a figure to emerge as Prime Minister. It is not for me to approve or to dub it (…) but to make sure that it is indeed a mission government that will be formed as soon as possible, “said Mr. Macron at Beirut airport, where he was greeted by his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun.
Very involved in helping the country out of the crisis, Emmanuel Macron supports the implementation of reforms “at the service of the Lebanese”: “public procurement reforms, fight against corruption, for justice, for energy reform , for better management of the port, the central bank, banking reform, “he enumerated.
Emmanuel Macron’s crucial mediation
A line shared by the new Prime Minister, Mustapha Adib, which displays the same voluntarism. The latter announced on Monday that he wanted to quickly form a government of experts and promised to initiate reforms immediately to lay the foundations for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The window of opportunity for our country is narrow and the mission that I have accepted is based on the fact that all political forces are aware of it”, he declared after being officially charged by Michel Aoun to train a new government.
According to senior Lebanese officials, the mediation of Emmanuel Macron would have been crucial in the choice of Mustapha Adib as Prime Minister, while the discussions were deadlocked last week. The previous government, led by Hassan Diab, resigned on August 10, six days after the explosion.
With AFP and Reuters