First modification: 08/04/2021 – 14:00
A year after the explosion in the port of Beirut, the French president opened an international conference to manage aid for the Lebanese population. Once again, Macron criticized the inability of the country’s political leaders to “put aside their personal interests.”
On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion destroyed the port of Beirut, the most important in Lebanon, and directly impacted some 300,000 people. A year later, at the opening of an event led by France to manage humanitarian aid to the country of some 7 million inhabitants, President Emmanuel Macron stressed that Lebanese politicians owe the truth to their citizens about what happened in the port.
In a virtual event in which Lebanese President Michel Aoun also participated, the French president stressed that the main priority should be to form a government focused on addressing the country’s social emergency and that the aid that is managed for Lebanon will not be a “blank check” to his political class.
France promises vaccines to Lebanon
Among other announcements, Macron said that he will direct more than 100 million euros to the country and some 500,000 doses against Covid-19. The news comes amid uncertainty about who will lead the country to get it out of the crisis. “France will continue to support and help the people of Lebanon,” the president wrote on his Twitter account.
La France will continue à soutenir et aider the population du Liban:
– 100 millions of euros supplémentaires seront mobilisés dans les 12 mois qui viennent pour aider le pays;
– 500,000 doses of vaccines seront envoyées de les prochaines semaines. https://t.co/3dBOUzo87h
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 4, 2021
Three weeks ago, then-acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned after 9 months of trying to form a government. Hariri did not reach an agreement with President Aoun on the cabinet of 24 specialists. At the end of July, businessman Najib Mikati was appointed to the job. Now it is up to him to find the consensus to form a government that can execute the recovery plan that France has proposed.
This Wednesday, August 4, the French president again criticized the inability of the Lebanese political class “to put aside their personal interests for the benefit of the country.”
The explosion of a year ago in Beirut aggravated a crisis of several months
Since the explosion, Macron has visited Lebanon twice. His message about the urgency of forming a stable government has always been there. But the instability came from before the tragedy.
In October 2019, thousands of Lebanese began to protest a series of regressive measures on social networks, but the reasons grew with the passing of days. Then Hariri was also Prime Minister and resigned after two weeks of protests.
Discontent continued amid the pandemic, with the price of the Lebanese pound skyrocketing and a lack of opportunities for young people. Then the explosion happened and the crisis has intensified.
Now President Macron seeks to raise around 350 million dollars for the country, but he insisted on the urgency of forming a government that makes getting out of the crisis as a priority. “The Lebanese leaders seem to be betting on a stalemate strategy, which I regret and believe is a historical and moral failure,” Macron said in his opening remarks as host of an international conference.