Paris Urges Lebanese Parties to Form Govt. 'without Delay'
France on Monday called on Lebanon’s political forces to form a new government without delay, as hopes dimmed for a new Cabinet by a mid-September deadline announced by French president Emmanuel Macron.
The French Foreign Ministry said all Lebanese political parties had endorsed the rapid formation of a government that can implement essential reforms.
"It is up to them to translate this commitment into action without delay," it said.
The French leader has been pressing Lebanese politicians to form a Cabinet made up of independent specialists that can work on enacting urgent reforms to extract Lebanon from a devastating economic and financial crisis worsened by the devastating Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut port.
The small, cash-strapped country is in desperate need of financial assistance but France and other international powers have refused to provide aid before serious reforms are made. The crisis represents the biggest threat to Lebanon since the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990, and is largely blamed on decades of systematic corruption and mismanagement by Lebanon's ruling class.
During Macron's Sept 1. visit to Lebanon, Lebanese politicians promised a new government would be formed within two weeks. With one day left before that deadline, Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Adib was expected to present his Cabinet lineup to President Michel Aoun on Monday. But instead, Adib only held further consultations with the president.
Although he could still form a Cabinet later, missing the deadline would be an early blow to the premier-designate, who quit his job as Lebanese ambassador to Germany for the new post.