Lebanese pushing their cars in a gasoline line amid economic crisis. August 2021

Lebanese pushing their cars in a gasoline line amid economic crisis.

France Says UAE To Join French-Saudi Effort To Support Lebanese

1/12/2022

France's foreign minister said on Tuesday the United Arab Emirates would join a Saudi-French fund that aimed to provide support to the Lebanese people.

Riyadh and Paris agreed in early December to establish a common humanitarian mechanism to alleviate the suffering of the Lebanese as a first step to Saudi Arabia re-engaging with Lebanon after a diplomatic row between Beirut and the Gulf states.

"The visit by President (Emmanuel) Macron enabled the Gulf (Arab countries) to renew ties, which saw (the creation of) a joint Franco-Saudi fund to support the Lebanese, which will be helped tomorrow or the day after with a contribution from the United Arab Emirates," Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.

Le Drian gave no details on how the fund would work or how much was being pledged.

France has led international efforts to resolve the political and economic crisis in Lebanon.

But despite staking a lot of political capital on the issue for more than a year, President Emmanuel Macron has failed so far to push the country's squabbling politicians to carry out economic reforms that would unlock vital foreign aid.

Le Drian condemned efforts led by Iran-backed Hezbollah to prevent cabinet meetings and remove political blockages surrounding an investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion, saying this was an "unacceptable obstruction" for political objectives.

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