French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian landed in Beirut this week to meet with Lebanese political leaders in another attempt to break the political deadlock and revive efforts towards the French initiative aiming at rescuing Lebanon.
He held brief meetings with President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday morning. Later that day, he had an unscheduled meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.
In comments at the end of his visit, he noted that he sees there is no effort from the political class to revive Lebanon, a situation the Lebanese people have been watching for over 9 months in frustration and despair.
Many in Lebanon have come to believe that negotiating with the same rulers who led the country to ruin, including causing the apocalyptic Beirut Explosion by neglect and misgovernance, is useless.
The most frustrated of all are the families of the victims whose pain is turning into a rage as the Beirut Blast Investigation, which has become a dragging story, has brought none of the ruling officials to justice.
That France continues to negotiate with them to rescue what they have destroyed has enraged in particular the family of one of the youngest Beirut Explosion‘s victims.
Paul Naggear, the father of 3-year-old Alexandra who was killed in the disaster, took to Twitter to release this statement, tagging the French Foreign Minister:
“Le Drian, are you really going to come to Lebanon to meet our corrupt and criminal politicians once again? To serve what agenda? Instead of meeting us free citizens – NGOs, unions, families of August 4th victims. And help us rebuild… Go ahead, for us, it would be like negotiating with the mafia, the cartels, the worst kind in the world. If that’s the case, please stay home.”
France and the international community have been trying for months to pressure Lebanon’s political actors to assume their responsibilities towards the nation, to no avail.
The most recent threats of sanctions and travel bans against them haven’t even yielded any result. The ruling officials remain unshakable in their idleness that is serving their own political and sectarian agenda.
For the Lebanese people living daily the dire consequences, and for the families who lost their loved ones to the blast, it is clear that France negotiating with these officials will not bring them justice nor change.
Lebanon is under serious threats of being declared a “Failed State.” That will make the Lebanese government and state illegitimate in the eyes of the international community and there will be no stop to its collapse into more chaos and corruption.