French President Emmanuel Macron criticized a “failing” Lebanese political class he blamed for their country’s economic turmoil as he opened a donors’ conference marking the anniversary of the Beirut port blast.
“Lebanese leaders seem to bet on a stalling strategy, which I regret and I think is a historic and moral failure,” Macron said in opening remarks as host of an international donors’ conference that aims to raise at least $350 million.
“There will be no blank cheque for the Lebanese political system. Because it is they who, since the start of the crisis but also before that, are failing.”
The new aid will be unconditional, Macron’s office said, but about $11 billion raised in 2018 remains locked away and conditional on a series of reforms.