Macron Slams Shiite Duo, Criticizes Hariri, Urges Govt. in 4-6 Weeks


French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday blasted Hizbullah and Amal Movement, criticized ex-PM Saad Hariri’s conduct in the cabinet formation negotiations and said Lebanese parties now have four to six weeks to form a new government or face “a different approach.”

At a rare news conference devoted to Lebanon, Macron accused Lebanon's leaders of betraying their promises over the failure to form a government in the wake of the giant blast at the Beirut port in August.

Macron said the political elite had decided "to betray" their obligations and had committed "collective treason" by failing to form a government.

Macron had repeatedly pressed Lebanon's leaders to form the government, saying a reform-minded cabinet was essential if aid was to flow in to rebuild the country.

Lebanon's premier-designate Mustafa Adib stepped down on Saturday, saying he had been unable to form a reform-minded government.

"They have decided to betray this commitment (to form a government)," Macron told reporters, declaring he was "ashamed" of the country's leaders.

"I see that the Lebanese authorities and political forces chose to favor their partisan and individual interests to the detriment of the general interest of the the country," he added.

Macron said none of the leaders of Lebanon -- where in the wake of the 1975-1990 civil war power is traditionally shared between Shiites, Sunnis and Christians -- had been up to the task.

"All of them bet on the worst case scenario for the sake of saving themselves, the interests of their family or their clan," he seethed.

"I therefore have decided to take note of this collective betrayal and the refusal of Lebanese officials to engage in good faith."

Macron also sent a pointed warning to Hizbullah, which was well represented in the outgoing government and some analysts accuse of holding up the process.

Hizbullah should "not think it is more powerful than it is... It must show that it respects all the Lebanese. And in recent days days, it has clearly shown the opposite," said Macron.

"Hizbullah cannot be an army in a war against Israel and a militia taking part in Syria's war and still be a respectable party in Lebanon," he said.

"Amal and Hizbullah decided that nothing should change in Lebanon and I understood that Hizbullah did not honor the pledge it made to me. The failure is their failure and I don't bear its responsibility," Macron added.

The French leader also said that Hariri "erred by adding a sectarian factor to the roadmap" before eventually correcting his "mistake."

Macron, who visited Lebanon twice in the wake of the explosion, had repeatedly urged the Lebanese not to waste any more time in forming a government.

The August 4 explosion of hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate at the Beirut port killed more than 190 people, wounded thousands and ravaged large parts of the capital.

The disaster sparked new protests over corruption and mismanagement, prompting the previous cabinet to step down.

The French president said that the roadmap for political and economic reform set out on his last visit on September 1 was still on the table but time was running out.

"It is now up to Lebanese officials to seize this last chance themselves," he said.

  • 27 September 2020, 20:06

    Macron has granted the Lebanese parties four to six weeks to form a new government, warning of another approach should they fail in that.

  • 27 September 2020, 20:01

    Macron: The Taef Accord does not stipulate that any party has the right to monopolize a certain ministry or funds.

  • 27 September 2020, 20:00

    Macron: The U.S. sanctions created a tense atmosphere in Lebanon.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:58

    Macron: I do not have evidence that Iran has obstructed the situation in Lebanon.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:57

    Macron: We will work with the regional partners, including Iran, regarding the situation in Lebanon.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:57

    Marcon: The issue is in the hands of Berri and Hizbullah -- do they want to involve Shiites in the Lebanese interest or in the worse scenario?

  • 27 September 2020, 19:55

    Macron: I did not manage to resolve the dispute between the U.S. and Iran.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:52

    Macron: The formation of a Lebanese government is the only way forward.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:50

    Macron: I hold all Lebanese leaders responsible for the failure, topped by President Aoun.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:48

    Macron: Hizbullah should not think that it is stronger than it actually is.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:48

    Macron: Amal and Hizbullah decided that nothing should change in Lebanon and I understood that Hizbullah did not honor the pledge it made to me. The failure is their failure and I don't bear its responsibility.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:48

    Macron: I'm ashamed over what the Lebanese leaders are doing.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:47

    Macron: We do not fear a civil war in Lebanon.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:46

    Macron: Reforms are a necessity and an irreversible condition so that Lebanon can get the assistance it needs.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:46

    Macron: The formation of a government without Shiites is not a realistic choice.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:45

    Macron: There is no alternative but to work with all parties in Lebanon.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:44

    Macron: Sanctions are not the right tool at the moment.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:43

    Macron: Hariri erred by adding a sectarian factor to the roadmap before correcting his mistake.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:34

    Macron: The French initiative is still on the table and Lebanese leaders must seize this last chance.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:32

    Macron: Hizbullah must respect all Lebanese.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:32

    Macron: No one can win over the others and I hold all parties responsible.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:31

    Macron: I salute the Lebanese Army's sense of responsibility.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:30

    Macron: Lebanese political forces favored their partisan interests over the public interest.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:30

    Macron: Some preferred to set up traps for others and they put the sect before the country.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:29

    Macron: The leaders of Lebanese institutions have not honored their pledges.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:27

    Macron: On September 1, all Lebanese political forces pledged to form a mission government within 15 days and the French initiative is still valid until today.

  • 27 September 2020, 19:27

    Macron: France will always stand by the Lebanese people.

Comments 9
Thumb lebnanfirst 27 September 2020, 19:45

Mr. president, the ONLY thing that you can put on the table that our politicians and hizb will listen to is the language of force. Hizb will not peacefully let go of its arms or Lebanon and one thinks you should know that by now.
See how they trembled when the US wielded the stick? Nothing else will work kind sir.

Thumb thepatriot 27 September 2020, 20:20

I really don't agree SOS.
acron was on the contrary quite firm and critical towards Hezbollah.
I like what I heard...

Missing sami1911 27 September 2020, 21:03

President of France stop playing games with the Lebanese people. We demand swift actions, transparency and clarity. Therefore disclose the investigation regarding the transaction and all individuals involved to the people - the cheaters are OUT.

Every single Lebanese within the borders and abroad needs to ask him self a few questions. From a regional perspective, which side can bring stability and property to the country? From whom can I as a LEBANESE best benefit in regards to opportunity for my kindred and theirs generations onward? If YOU have a sense of patriotism, bridge the religious differences, and unite upon the kind of world you would like your progeny to live in.

Missing sami1911 28 September 2020, 02:38

Well the demands here are not in a specific materialistic sense as you seem to understand it. But rather applied on Macrons proposals being bulldozed by the Iranians time and time again, with the next knock delivered to your empty speeches in 4-6 weeks again. What kind of signals dose that send! 4-6 Weeks! Idiots been giving another deadline, till then Lebanese played by hopes and get emotionally frustrated. And the outcome, Iranians laughing. Be harsh and assertive. If you have facts regarding the transactions, make the documents public, pressure them, expose them use all means possible.

Further 18 officially recognised sects with all what it means, mosques, churches, religious- sermons beatings etc. Its about time to recognise further religions to that list, satanism that rules them all. The Devil and the 18 thieves. What a shame!

Thumb justice 27 September 2020, 23:06

Macron: I hold all Lebanese leaders responsible for the failure, topped by President Aoun.

Missing samiam 28 September 2020, 06:54

And he of course is oblivious to this....

Thumb scorpyonn 28 September 2020, 09:18

Destroy Iran= that will solve it all.

Thumb kanaanljdid 28 September 2020, 09:39

Très bien cher Président. Maintenant, ne laissez plus le régime satanique d'Iran relever la tête et sanctionnez le Hezbollah car les Libanais n'ont ni la force ni le courage de le faire eux-mêmes.

Missing phillipo 28 September 2020, 19:33

And you still call Israel the enemy.