French President Emmanuel Macron will host a new international conference on Lebanon next month on the first anniversary of the Beirut port explosion, after premier designate Saad Hariri gave up trying to form a government, the foreign ministry announced Friday.
Macron will organize the conference on August 4 with the help of the United Nations, “to respond to the needs of the Lebanese whose situation is deteriorating every day,” it said in a statement.
The French leader had in August 2020 hosted a first aid conference in the wake of the deadly August 4 Beirut port explosion that shattered the Lebanese capital, rallying some 250 million euros in pledges.
But France and Macron have repeatedly expressed exasperation over the failure of Lebanon’s leaders to end a political and economic crisis that dates back to well before the explosion.
The foreign ministry said Hariri’s failure to form a government “confirms the political deadlock which Lebanese leaders have deliberately continued for months, even as Lebanon sinks into unprecedented economic and social crisis.”
It said there was now an “absolute urgency” to remove this “deliberate and unacceptable obstacle” and allow the formation of a government in Lebanon and the rapid appointment of a prime minister.
Hariri said Thursday he was unable to form a government after a meeting with President Michel Aoun over his draft cabinet lineup.
Hariri had been nominated prime minister designate in October 2020 following the devastating explosion at Beirut port in August caused by unsafely stored fertilizer and which killed more than 200 people.