France heightens pressure on Lebanon to form government

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tells Lebanese leaders that the seven months of political deadlock in forming a cabinet are worsening the nation’s economic crisis.

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France’s foreign minister has reeled up pressure on Lebanese leaders to form a government, counseling them in personal phone calls for a proximate pause to what he called “deliberate obstruction” that is pouring the country towards collapse.

Jean-Yves Le Drian called Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and parliament speaker Nabih Berri and condemned the seven months of political impasse that is deteriorating Lebanon’s economic crisis, rendering to a proclamation from the foreign minister’s office on Monday.

“The deliberate obstruction of any prospect of an exit from the crisis … by demands that are unreasonable and out-of-date must immediately halt,” the statement said. “The time has come to strengthen pressure” to end the blockage, it added.

In the previous week, dialogues between Aoun and Hariri on the development of a new cabinet broke down.

Le Drian is also probing European counterparts to join the momentum for action. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron offered a road map to break the political impasse in the former French protectorate.

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