Josep Borell, High Representative of the European Union, held meetings with senior Lebanese officials on Saturday to discuss the local situation and international support.
Borell first met with President Michel Aoun in the Baabda Palace, where he affirmed the EU‘s readiness to support Lebanon, only after reform conditions are met.
“We have great resources and the intention to help Lebanon re-launch the Lebanese economy. But, before doing that, we must see the implementation of reforms, and the Lebanese leaders must assume their responsibilities and form a government,” he said.
“We cannot understand how months have passed since the assignment and you are without a government,” he added.
Borell went on to note that the EU might impose sanctions on Lebanese officials.
“Sanctions are on the table, and we are studying them. If they are applied, it will be to motivate the political class to find solutions.”
The representative stressed the importance of holding early parliamentary elections in Lebanon, adding that the EU is ready to send an observation delegation if asked.
Later during the day, Borell met with caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
He reiterated to Diab the EU‘s interest in “knowing first-hand the prevailing situation in Lebanon” and examining “the various governmental, economic, and social challenges it faces, and their repercussions at all levels,” emphasizing the Union’s readiness for supporting the country.
Borell also met with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and discussed the political deadlock and the Lebanese situation with them.
Josep Borell’s visit reportedly constitutes the final chance offered to Lebanese officials by the EU in regards to the political deadlock, before imposing sanctions on them.
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