Dear Minister Le Drian,
After your last media intervention on the situation in Lebanon, allow me to share with you the same anxiety, and the same sense of gravity but not at all the same diagnosis.
Putting everyone under the same umbrella doesn’t seem to me willing to serve the action undertaken by France since August 4th 2020 to provide a way out of this impasse.
Indeed, you mentioned the blocage in forming a government at the constitutional level. But you aren’t unaware of who blocks this constitution by imposing conditions that climb progressively each time a new measure is proposed, by breaching the basic constitutional rules and worse, by passing his time on airplanes and abroad instead of being on the ground for everything to be settled.
Minister, you mention the necessity to start improving public life, but being an expert of Lebanon, you aren’t also unaware of who are the ones blocking these improvements, exercising blackmail and not hesitating to threaten of putting the country to fire and sword if we touch their acquisitions. The forensic audit project is a typical example that was called for by President Macron but the only one fighting tooth and nail for it is President Michel Aoun.
You are right to think that the collapse would be catastrophic for the Lebanese and for the region; I would add for my part that this collapse would be even more catastrophic for the whole world where millions of refugees would risk invading the West and Europe in particular. Conversely, a peaceful and sovereign Lebanon will be extremely beneficial for the world, in particular France, especially when it will have the possibility of extracting its natural resources, especially in gas. Lebanon does not need an injunction but rather an accompaniment like a big brother with his younger brother, exactly as President Macron expressed it in Beirut on August 6. Lebanon does not need a dilution of responsibilities, but on the contrary, firm and clear positions based on a good diagnosis without gloves or tweezers. Finally, Lebanon needs major action to help it recover its funds looted by transfer abroad. perfectly feasible action through legal procedures via Tracfin for example.
Even if many Lebanese “officials” are not up to the mark, there’s no doubt of the regional and international dimension of the current crisis. Only France can truly help Lebanon in sight of the history, geography and sociocultural proximity between the two countries in order to turn the trend and impose the willing change in supporting the President of the Lebanese Republic and all the forces that are genuinely fighting against the corrupt system in Lebanon.
Dr. Elie Haddad
President of Rassemblement Pour le Liban (RPL)