| 26 September 2022, Monday |

American-French understanding.. Lebanon should not collapse completely

The Council of Ministers’ “reconvening” has set a general French-American satisfaction, after a three-month hiatus. French diplomatic sources told “Sawt Beirut International” that this return is considered an initial and positive step, while the expected next step, is for the government to be effective and able to work. And that Paris and Washington want to see approval of the required reforms, that would pave the way for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. They also want approval of the state budget for the current year 2022. Therefore, the two capitals are waiting for Lebanon to hasten these matters, as time is running out for everyone, and the economic situation is heading from bad to worse, and the actual rescue must begin and no more time and more opportunities should be wasted.

The sources confirmed that there is an American-French understanding that Lebanon should not collapse completely, and that it must be supported in order to avoid reaching such a point, although its economic and political situation is not easy, so there is an emphasis on the support of the government by the American and French parties, as there is no alternative to it. A government matching the French initiative, was not possible to be formed. They are ready to support it further more, in the hope that it will be able to adjust the situation to an acceptable level. They understand that there is a party on the ground, ie “Hezbollah”, which is in control, and that the government is in conflict with it. The current administration is dealing realistically with the Lebanese situation in cooperation with the French one.

The sources continue that France is waiting for the government to play an important role in rescuing the country, on the eve of the IMF delegation’s arrival to Beirut on the 21st of this month, to ensure the continuity and productivity of the negotiation process and its completion, as this process has reached an important and pivotal stage that should not be neglected, something that has exhausted the French move, aimed at returning to the sessions of the Council of Ministers. It is no longer permissible to go around in a vicious circle regarding the lack of treatment if the government does not convene. Consequently, France considered that it succeeded in achieving a political green light from the parties that France and the United States realize are the ones who are obstructing.

And thus, France succeeded in preventing Lebanon from reaching a major impasse if the government’s work was thwarted and its cooperation with the Fund, which deals with Lebanon’s crisis with a lot of flexibility was disrupted, knowing that its dealings with other issues with other countries, is not similar with the way it is dealing with the Lebanese situation.

Washington is not far from the recent French move on arranging the issue of reactivating the government, not because the government is ideal, but because the situation is now in a “waiting state” for the Vienna negotiations, to secure stability in Lebanon within acceptable limits, until the course of matters in the region are crystalized.