France: Lebanese leaders have not kept reform pledges

Cairo: Lebanese leaders have not kept reform pledges they made to French President Emanuel Macron, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was quoted as saying Friday during a visit aimed to break a months-long logjam in forming a new government in the crisis-hit country.

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Last month, France said it has restricted the entry into its territory for Lebanese officials perceived of blocking a solution to the crisis in their country and the introduction of imperative reforms.

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“The declared sanctions are just the beginning on the road of tough sanctions,” Le Drian told a group of reporters in Beirut, according to Lebanon’s official news agency NNA.

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He added that France will call on the world community to pressure for holding the parliamentary elections in Lebanon on time, according to NNAA.

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Le Drian started a visit to Beirut on Thursday and held separate meetings with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, parliament head Nabih Berri and premier-designate Saad Al Hariri. NNA quoted the top French diplomat as explaining that his talks with the three leaders were based on what “they constitutional represent”.

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Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic dilemma in decades amid a political deadlock on forming a new government.

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A deadly explosion at the Beirut port last August came to fuel public discontent and forced the government of Hassan Diab to resign under home and international pressure.

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Bail out economy

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In the aftermath of the blast, Macron visited Beirut where he urged the rival Lebanese politicians to adopt badly needed reforms to bail out economy.

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Macron, whose country was a former colonialist of Lebanon, kept the pressure on his second visit to Beirut in September, urging for swift formation of a cabinet of technocrats and introduction of massive reforms linked to financial aid.

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In October, Al Hariri was designated for forming the government that has been since in the throes of birth due to squabbling among rival factions.

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In recent months, disagreement on forming the government has erupted in public between Aoun and Al Hariri.

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