The devastating effects of Lebanon’s financial crisis have reached far beyond the country’s borders. The crisis has already had its effect on Lebanon’s foreign relations, but the threat to its diplomacy is only growing.
Today, Lebanon is facing “a diplomatic crisis,” as the country’s diplomatic sector has reached “the verge of collapse,” diplomatic sources told Nidaa Al-Watan.
The sources pointed to an increase in the percentage of vacancies in the positions of ambassadors around the world amid a “stifling financial deficit.”
This has made it difficult for the Lebanese state to bear the operational costs of maintaining some embassies, according to the sources, which predict that the Lebanese Foreign Ministry will accordingly call some diplomats back to Beirut.
Future measures in this regard “may include decisions to close embassies in some capitals and resorting to reducing the size of Lebanese representatives around the world.”
This could be achieved, for example, by establishing “one embassy in a specific country that provides services to expatriates in more than one surrounding country,” the sources told the newspaper.
The situation has declined so much that in some cases, some Lebanese embassies had to use petty cash to pay their employees due to the severe budget deficit.
Other embassies have started gathering donations from Lebanese expatriates in order to ensure the continuation of their services.
It is to note that Lebanon recently evaded a potential diplomatic crisis of a different nature with several countries due to undiplomatic comments made by its Foreign Minister, and which led to his resignation.