On his departure day from Lebanon, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed a disheartening message regarding the collapsing country.
Le Drian, who arrived in Lebanon this Thursday to encourage its officials to undergo the overdue reforms, said that he was stricken by “the lack of response from the authorities of this country” to the current crisis.
Nonetheless, speaking to the press on Friday, he emphasized that the means to revive Lebanon are still available.
“Everyone knows the path to be taken,” the French Minister stressed, adding that France is ready to accompany Lebanese authorities to take it on the condition that they make the decisions to progress toward reforms.
The path Le Drian implied is the same that Lebanon’s officials have been seemingly avoiding ever since they agreed to follow a financial recovery plan to restructure the country’s economy.
Though the international community has repeatedly urged Lebanon’s ruling class not to exacerbate the crisis through procrastination and indifference, the appeals have so far fallen on deaf ears as experts have indicated.
“These are France’s requests, and I think they have been heard,” Le Drian summarized.
Deeming Lebanon “on the verge of the abyss,” the Minister warned of the disastrous aftermath of its politicians’ continued lack of cooperation.
Notably, Le Drian is the first senior Western official to visit Lebanon after the formation of its current government and the COVID-19 outbreak.
As its economy crumbles following decades of corruption and failed policy, the pandemic plunges Lebanon and its struggling people deeper into a well of utter chaos.
The recent resurgence of infection cases has prompted the authorities to recommend the closure of several sectors next week, raising questions about the possibility of the reinstatement of a total lockdown and the additional consequences of that on the economy.