BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun Monday said he was committed to the French initiative and regretted that Lebanon had been unable to see to the formation of a new government.
Aoun during a meeting with the French ambassador to Lebanon said he regretted that Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib had not been able to form a government that was in accordance to the principles of the French initiative, especially in terms of enacting reforms.
He awarded French Ambassador Bruno Foucher with the National Order of the Cedar medallion for his “efforts in strengthening French-Lebanese relations."
France has been Lebanon's leading supporter among international actors since the Beirut Port blast in August.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut less than two days after the explosion, with France offering humanitarian aid to help Lebanon cope with the aftermath.
During his visit Macron presented a road map for Lebanon to get out of its multiple crises and adopt a path of reforms starting with the formation of a new “mission government.”
Diplomat Mustapha Adib was appointed as prime minister under immense French pressure hours before Macron arrived for his second visit to Beirut on Sept. 1 during which Lebanese politicians vowed a new Cabinet would be formed within two weeks.
As opposing demands and sectarian considerations mired the formation process Adib stepped down from his post as he was unable to fulfill his task to form a reformist government.
However Macron Sunday said the French initiative was still in force and gave Lebanese politicians another four to six weeks to form a Cabinet, while accusing them of “collective betrayal” for their failure to form a government, plunging the country into more uncertain waters.
The Daily Star