France’s President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Lebanon for his second visit since a major explosion at the capital’s port earlier this month shook the country and renewed calls for political change.
He arrived in Beirut on Monday evening for a two-day visit when Lebanese leaders named diplomat Mustafa Adeeb as the new Prime Minister, thanking him for forming the government in view of the resumption of the previous administration after the August 4 outburst .
The explosion that ripped through Beirut killed at least 190 people, injured thousands and caused extensive damage that left hundreds of thousands without homes.
Macron has been in direct contact with Lebanese officials since his first visit two days after the explosion, urging ossified leaders to come to a political understanding to undergo decades of widespread reform and corruption and mismanagement, which has Pushed the country to its deepest position. Economic Crisis.
On Monday, the French President was welcomed by his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun at Beirut Airport. He is also due to pay a visit to the famous Lebanese singer Fayrouz later on Monday.
Macron addressed Lebanese in a tweet in Arabic, stating that he had returned by promising to “work together to create the conditions necessary for reconstruction and stability”.
During his visit, Macron hopes to push politicians to implement reforms that international donors have sought before releasing financial aid.
Western countries saw the resumption of stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as reforms in the power and financial sectors as critical conditions for providing large-scale financial support.
Senior Lebanese officials said Macron’s arbitration was necessary to achieve the agreement on a new prime minister 48 hours before the deadlock broke and a consensus was reached on Adib, the former ambassador to Germany.
Adib, who won in support of Lebanon, said, “Our country’s opportunity is small and the mission I have accepted is based on all political forces.” All The main side in the consultation organized by Aoun.
He called for the formation of a government of competent experts in record time, immediate initiation of reforms and an agreement with the IMF. In the past, it often took months to form governments.
The World Bank on Monday estimated the explosion to cause between $ 32 billion and $ 4.6 billion in damage to the transportation sector, housing and cultural sites, and an additional $ 2.9 billion to $ 3.2 billion in damage to economic output. Damage done.
The organization estimated Lebanon’s immediate needs to be between $ 605m and $ 760m by the end of 2020, including cash assistance, housing and support for businesses.
Like his predecessor Hassan Dib, who was nominated by a narrow margin after unprecedented protests by the government after the founding of the country that toppled a government last year, 48-year-old Adeeb knows very little of the public.
Analysts said that due to the high level of political thinking in Lebanon, the diab was unable to move through reforms, a country where traditionally important decisions are made among a handful of ruling leaders rather than governments.
A senior financial adviser, Mike Azar, said, “We know that there are political forces behind these governments that do not necessarily tie up with the governments they appoint, and these complex problems are difficult to solve.” ” Jazeera
He said that Diab’s government had faltered because there was no clear plan on how to meet the nation’s challenges, and that it included “a pool of people with different opinions”, which led to chronic illness. was.
Macron is in Beirut for the centennial anniversary of the creation of Greater Lebanon, declared by colonial France in 1920, after France gained independence from France in 1943 after World War I.
Al Jazeera and news agencies