The London-based Arabic daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, referred to by the New York Times as “one of the oldest and most influential in the region,” just added to increasing reports on possible sanctions against Lebanese officials.
Citing “prominent” sources in Paris, the daily reported that the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly working on joint sanctions to impose on “corrupt” parties in Lebanon that are obstructing government formation.
This report comes days after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that France would be imposing travel restrictions on Lebanese officials involved in political blockage and corruption.
The U.S. Embassy would not comment to our request and the U.K. Embassy did not respond to our requests for comment.
However, the news of incoming sanctions to pressure Lebanese officials to break the government deadlock has been in the headlines for over a month now.
In March, a French diplomat informed a local newspaper that Western authorities were considering sanctions for a while. “Imposition of sanctions will be brought up on the table,” the diplomat was reported as saying.
The news now comes ahead of the arrival of France‘s Foreign Minister Le Drian in Beirut where he will reportedly only meet with President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri but not Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, according to Asharq al-Awsat.