Lebanon crisis

EU adopts a framework for sanctions against Lebanese politicians

The announcement comes days ahead of the first anniversary of the deadly Beirut blast, which the Lebanese government is still investigating.

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The European Union Friday announced that it had adopted a framework for “targeted restrictive measures” against individuals in Lebanon responsible for the current situation.

“This framework provides for the possibility of imposing sanctions against persons and entities who are responsible for undermining democracy or the rule of law in Lebanon,” an EU statement read.

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Sanctions will target Lebanese individuals for “obstructing or undermining the democratic political process by persistently hampering the formation of a government or by obstructing or seriously undermining the holding of elections,” Friday’s statement read.

Those obstructing the implementation of “good governance” and “critical economic reforms” are also subject to sanctions.

“Sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed,” the EU said.

The United States has mainly been the sole enforcer of sanctions on Lebanese officials for acts of corruption or their ties to Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization by Washington and several European and Gulf countries.

But France, which distinguishes between the Iran-backed group’s so-called military and political wings, has been the major obstacle in the face of a unified international policy for Beirut.

Friday’s announcement will still need to be enforced, and it remains to be seen who and how many Lebanese politicians will be sanctioned.

Read more: Out with the old, in with the old: Lebanon’s ‘new’ prime minister