Lebanon could miss out on aid, France warns

France on Friday (December 7th) warned Lebanon it could lose the international community's goodwill and much-needed investments if it takes any longer to form a government, AFP reported.

Lebanon's economy has looked on the brink of collapse for some time but a Paris conference dubbed CEDRE in April earned it $11 billion in aid pledges.

Polls held the following month gave Saad al-Hariri a new term as prime minister but Lebanon's fractious political class has since failed to agree on a government line-up.

Seven months on, a breakthrough does not seem imminent and French ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Foucher warned that Lebanon stood to lose a lot.

"We deeply regret that our Lebanese friends are not able to agree on a government," he said during a press conference held on a French frigate making a stop in Beirut.

The amounts pledged in Paris were unexpectedly high and other conferences have also mustered support for Lebanon.

"The lack of a government in Lebanon means running the risk that this dynamic in the international community is lost," Foucher said.

"That moment could pass."

The French envoy explained that a new government was needed to undertake the programme contained in the CEDRE plan and warned that investors would not wait forever.

"There are other countries that may need international assistance," he said.

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| 2018-12-15

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