French President Emmanuel Macron appointed former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as special envoy to Lebanon, in a new attempt to end the political crisis in the Arab country.
And the French presidency said – in a statement – “In the spirit of friendship that binds France to Lebanon, the President of the Republic continues to work towards resolving the institutional crisis and implementing the necessary reforms for the recovery of this country,” according to Reuters.
“Jean-Yves Le Drian has appointed … his personal representative for dialogue with everyone who can contribute to resolving the crisis, whether inside or outside Lebanon,” the statement added.
An advisor to the French president – who asked not to be named – told Agence France-Presse that Le Drian (75 years old) would be assigned to help find a “consensual and effective” solution to the Lebanese crisis, which worsened, especially after the Beirut port explosion on August 4, 2020.
The chancellor added that Le Drian “plans to go to Lebanon very soon,” noting that Macron asked him to “quickly prepare for him a report on the situation” in this country that includes “action proposals.”
Le Drian was France’s foreign minister between 2017 and 2022, and he was also responsible for implementing a number of Macron’s initiatives related to Lebanon.
Since September 2022, the Lebanese parliament has failed, through 11 sessions, to elect a new president for the country, to succeed Michel Aoun, whose term ended on October 31, 2022.
Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis since 2019, which led to a record collapse in the value of the local currency against the dollar, as well as a scarcity of consumables, most notably fuel and medicine, in addition to a sharp decline in purchasing power.