French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would not give up on an initiative to save Lebanon from collapse, but said he was “ashamed” of the country’s leaders and would raise the pressure on them to change course.
Mustapha Adib’s decision to quit 26 days after his appointment dealt a blow to Macron’s efforts to break a dangerous stalemate in the crisis-hit country. Political parties had pledged in early September, during a visit to Lebanon by the French leader, to form within two weeks a cabinet of independent ministers tasked with ending the country’s economic malaise.
Macron said the political elite had decided “to betray” their obligations and had committed “collective treason” by failing to form a government.
“They have decided to betray this commitment (to form a government),” Macron told reporters, declaring he was “ashamed” of the country’s leaders.
“I see that the Lebanese authorities and political forces chose to favor their partisan and individual interests to the detriment of the general interest of the the country,” he added.
He also sent a pointed warning to Hezbollah, which was well represented in the outgoing government and some analysts accuse of holding up the process.
Hezbollah should “not think it is more powerful than it is… It must show that it respects all the Lebanese. And in recent days days, it has clearly shown the opposite,” said Macron.
“There’s a question that needs to be asked to Hezbollah and ourselves. Is it really a political party or does it proceed just in a logic dictated by Iran, and its terrorist forces?” he added.
Macron, who visited Lebanon twice in the wake of the explosion, had repeatedly urged the Lebanese not to waste any more time in forming a government.
I hold all Lebanese leaders responsible for the failure, topped by President Aoun, he stressed