Report: France in Focus on Lebanon Refugees Crisis, Economy and Govt Lineup
France is worried that a further delay in lining up Lebanon’s government could affect implementation of the CEDRE conference, although French diplomats affirm “commitment” to its resolutions that garnered billions of dollars for the Mediterranean country.
Al-Joumhouria daily said on Tuesday that “the French interest in Lebanon is focused on the government formation process, the country’s economy and the crisis of Syrian refugees.”
Senior French diplomatic sources in Beirut have stressed the need that Lebanon forms a Cabinet “the more time passes (without a government) the greater the concerns over the CEDRE conference, although we are committed to it,” they told the daily.
They revealed that “French President Emmanuel Macron -expected to meet President Michel Aoun at the Francophone summit- has requested that Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil be present to discuss important issues with him, but was surprised to know that the Minister will not attend.”
In May, Lebanon was garnered $11 billion in pledges, including $10.2 billion in loans and $860 million in grants at the CEDRE conference-– also referred to as Paris IV.
Asked whether France has any reservations shall Lebanon allocate its health ministry for a minister of Hizbullah, they said: “We don’t have any problem with the minister’s political affiliation.”
The United States has reportedly threatened to cut aid to ministries allocated for the party which the US lists as “terrorist organization.”
On the electricity crisis, the sources affirmed that “Paris is very interested in the electricity file, which is one of the main causes of depletion of the treasury, and is able to help in finding scientific solutions.”