File photo Sept 2, 2020 : French President Emmanuel Macron was back in Beirut to celebrate the country’s centenary. In his second visit to the country since the deadly August 4 explosion , Macron urged Lebanese officials to implement government reforms. While he has been twice to the scene of the explosion , none of the top Lebanese leaders including the president has set foot foot there

President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that France’s road map for easing the crisis in Lebanon was still on the table and he planned to make a third visit there, Al Arabiya television reported.

Speaking at a media round table, he said the French plan was the only solution to Lebanon’s crisis and that he would do all he could to assist the formation of a government, according to the Saudi-owned channel.

Macron has been spearheading international efforts to rescue Lebanon, once a French protectorate, from its financial meltdown – its deepest crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

He has travelled twice to Beirut since a huge explosion at the port in August devastated swathes of the capital, but no progress has been made to form a credible interim government yet.

Macron was scheduled to visit Lebanon a third time in December but the trip was cancelled after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In Lebanon, fractious politicians have been unable to agree on a new government since the last one quit in the aftermath of the Beirut blast, leaving Lebanon adrift as poverty spreads.

A new government is the first step on a French roadmap that envisages a cabinet that would take steps to tackle endemic corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid to fix the economy, which has been crushed by a mountain of debt.


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