Lebanese politicians acted with disinterest towards the harsh statements made by French President Emmanuel Macron during his return from the Jordanian capital, Amman. Macron had attacked the Lebanese leaders, urging a change in the country’s leadership.
Macron’s statements are considered the harshest that he had leveled against the Lebanese political class so far.
The French president visited Beirut twice.
Macron’s first visit followed the Beirut port explosion in August 2020. In his second visit, which came about a month later, Macron gathered Lebanese leaders around a round table at the headquarters of the French embassy.
The French leader invited Lebanese politicians to agree on a formula that would allow the formation of a new government and pave the way for a solution to the worsening economic crisis.
“My answer is to try to help bring a political alternative to life… and to be intractable with political forces,” Macron said in media interviews.
He urged ignoring influential forces who have been keen on practicing extortion in Lebanon.
“I care about Lebanese men and women, not those living off their backs,” he said.
Macron said the priority now was to have “honest” people as president and as prime minister capable of moving swiftly to restructure Lebanon’s failed financial system.
Responding to Macron’s statements, member of the Progressive Socialist Party, MP Bilal Abdallah, stressed that leadership change in Lebanon was a matter of sovereignty.
“Changing the leadership and the political system in Lebanon is a sovereign issue that is subject to the will of the Lebanese people, who alone decide who their leaders are, choose and hold accountable according to the mechanisms provided by our democratic system,” Abdallah told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Lebanese Forces bloc MP Ghassan Hasbani, in response to Macron’s remarks, said that those hindering reform are known and that the Lebanese crisis can be solved by the election of a reformist president and placing the right people in executive power.