French President Emmanuel Macron has accused Lebanon’s leaders of “collective betrayal” for their failure to form a government in the wake of the huge explosion at the Beirut port in August.
At a rare news conference devoted to Lebanon on Sunday, Macron slammed the Lebanese political elite for prioritizing their selfish interests over those of their country.
“They have decided to betray this commitment [to form a government],” Macron told reporters, declaring he was “ashamed” of the country’s leaders.
Macron had repeatedly pressed Lebanon’s leaders to form the government, saying a reform-minded cabinet was essential if aid were to flow in to rebuild the country.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib stepped down on Saturday, saying he had been unable to form a government.
“I see that the Lebanese authorities and political forces chose to favour their partisan and individual interests to the detriment of the general interest of the country,” Macron added.
Macron said none of the leaders of Lebanon – where, in the wake of the 1975-1990 civil war, power is traditionally shared between Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims and Christians – had been up to the task.
“All of them bet on the worst-case scenario for the sake of saving themselves, the interests of their family or their clan,” he said.
“I, therefore, have decided to take note of this collective betrayal and the refusal of Lebanese officials to engage in good faith.”