Report: France’s Macron says will visit Lebanon a third time

Cairo: President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France’s road map for easing the crisis in Lebanon was still on the table and he planned to make a third visit there, Al Arabiya television reported.

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Speaking at a media round table, he said the French plan was the only solution to Lebanon’s crisis and that he would do all he could to assist the formation of a government, according to the Saudi-owned channel.

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Macron has been spearheading international efforts to rescue Lebanon, once a French protectorate, from its financial meltdown – its deepest crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

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He has travelled twice to Beirut since a huge explosion at the port in August devastated swathes of the capital, but no progress has been made to form a credible interim government yet.

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Macron was scheduled to visit Lebanon a third time in December but the trip was cancelled after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

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In Lebanon, fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new government since the last one quit in the aftermath of the Beirut blast, leaving Lebanon adrift as poverty spreads.

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A new government is the first step on a French roadmap that envisages a cabinet that would take steps to tackle endemic corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid to fix the economy, which has been crushed by a mountain of debt.

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