French President Emmanuel Macron will host an international conference today for the one-year anniversary of Beirut’s port explosion.
The commemoration comes shortly after the unexpected resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who was at odds with President Michel Aoun on the formation of a new cabinet. During the conference, President Macron will call for the international community to provide humanitarian aid to the Lebanese population, while expressing his concern over the mismanagement which has severely hamstrung Lebanon’s economy.
As Paris desires a reform-minded administration in Beirut, it is prepared to impose diplomatic bans on the ruling elite responsible for delaying the process of government formation. Paris will also move against groups that pose a challenge to the sectarian balance within the framework of Lebanon’s power sharing agreement.
Expect the EU to impose sanctions on politicians that have close links to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in the short-term. While foreign aid will slightly improve the Lebanese public’s economic situation, the sectarian tension in Lebanon is highly unlikely to lessen in the long-term due to Iran’s constant outside intervention. Tehran will strengthen its foothold in the country through Hezbollah, making a long-lasting reconciliation amongst the sects difficult.
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Can is a Publisher and Analyst with Foreign Brief and currently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at Bighampton University. His research there primarily focuses on the 19th-century Balkan independence movements.