Lebanon’s Saad Hariri, a former prime minister seeking a new term, said Monday he would meet all key parties to survey their commitment to a French rescue plan.
The country is bankrupt, but the ruling elite has so far failed to respond to calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for the rapid formation of an independent government.
Hariri, himself one of Lebanon’s hereditary political barons, stepped down from the position of prime minister a year ago under pressure from a massive protest movement calling for an end to sectarian-based politics.
“I will send a delegation to talk with all the main political blocs, to ensure that they are still fully committed” to Macron’s initiative, Hariri said, after meeting President Michel Aoun.
Macron visited Lebanon two days after the August 4 Beirut port explosion that disfigured the city, and returned three weeks later to check on the status of reforms he conditioned international support on.
The roadmap Macron laid out for debt-ridden Lebanon included a two-week deadline for the formation of a tighter and independent government of experts, that would only stay in office a few months.
A new prime minister, Mustapha Adib, was designated – but he threw in the towel after meeting resistance from the top Shia parties that sought guarantees they would retain the finance ministry.
Hariri, who has already served two terms as Lebanese premier and has close ties with France, has since resurfaced as the most likely candidate to take over.
“I am convinced that President Macron’s initiative is the only and last remaining opportunity for our country to stop the collapse and rebuild Beirut,” Hariri said, according to a statement from his office.
Hariri on Thursday said he was a possible candidate to head a new government to stem the country’s economic collapse.
Four dead, several injured after explosion in Lebanon’s capital, BeirutAt least four people were killed and several injured late Friday after an explosion in Beirut’s Tariq al-Jadideh, the Lebanese Red Cross said.After ... Middle East
Lebanon’s caretaker PM warns of ‘social explosion’ if central bank ends subsidiesLebanon’s outgoing prime minister on Friday adamantly rejected any move to end subsidies of goods in the crisis-hit country, warning it would lead to ... Middle East
Who will be representing Lebanon, Israel at next week’s border talks?Israel on Thursday announced the members of its delegation that will participate in next week’s first meeting with Lebanon over disputed maritime ... Middle East