Beirut (AFP) – The US and French ambassadors to Beirut said in a joint statement on Friday that Lebanon “is in dire need” of a new pro-reform government to get it out of its unprecedented economic and financial crisis.
The statement by Ambassadors Dorothy Shea and Ann Grillo came a day after they held talks in Riyadh with Saudi officials on how to find a unified strategy to help Lebanon. Friday’s statement said France, the United States and other countries would continue to provide urgent assistance to the Lebanese people, including health, education and food support.
Lebanon suffers from severe shortages of basic products, including medicines, fuel and infant formula, amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves and the free fall of the national currency.
The Riyadh meeting was a follow-up to the tripartite meeting between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud last month in Italy on the sidelines of the conference. 20th conference.
Lebanese political leaders are deeply divided over the formation of a new government to deal with the crises that erupted in late 2019 and represent the most serious threat to Lebanon’s stability since the 15-year civil war ended in 1990.
Ambassadors Grillo and Shea emphasized that concrete actions taken by Lebanese leaders to tackle endemic corruption will be crucial to unlocking additional support from France, the United States, and regional and international partners.