Hezbollah chief hails France’s help but says Macron cannot act like Lebanese leader – National


The Hezbollah leader said on Tuesday that his Shiite movement welcomed France’s efforts to help Lebanon emerge from the crisis, but that did not mean that French President Emmanuel Macron could act as the country’s leader.In a televised speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah, heavily armed and backed by Iran, remains ready to engage in dialogue as part of France’s roadmap to pull the country out of financial collapse. But he called for a review of what he called “condescending behavior”.

Macron, president of the former colonial power, France, which led the foreign aid efforts, berated Lebanese sectarian leaders for failing to quickly agree on a new government. It was the first step in the French plan to rally them to launch reforms that could unlock billions of dollars: money Lebanon desperately needs.

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The French president said he was “ashamed” of Lebanese politicians and saw it as a betrayal when his initiative failed.

Macron criticized Lebanon’s two main Shiite parties, Hezbollah and its ally Amal, whose demand to appoint certain ministers, especially the finance post, was at the heart of the stalemate.

“Who said it was betrayal?” Nasrallah retorted on Tuesday. “We are not committed to accepting government in any form.”

“We welcomed President Macron during his visit to Lebanon and we welcomed the French initiative, but not for him to be judge, jury and executioner, and leader of Lebanon.

Click to watch the video 'Protests in Lebanon: Protesters break down doors of Parliament, clash with police'

Protests in Lebanon: Protesters break down doors of Parliament and clash with police

Protests in Lebanon: Protesters break down doors of Parliament and clash with police

Narallah accused Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri, along with other former prime ministers, of pulling strings in an attempt to exploit the French intervention to score political points. He criticized them for seeking to sideline Hezbollah and its allies, which hold a majority in parliament.

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Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib, tasked with forming a new Cabinet, resigned over the weekend amid squabbles for the seats. He had sought to shake up control of ministries, some of which have been held by the same factions for years, including the finance post – which will help shape plans to emerge from the economic collapse.

The crisis, Lebanon’s worst since the 1975-1990 civil war, pushed the country to breaking point, eroding its currency. Macron intervened after the massive August explosion at the Port of Beirut, which killed nearly 200 people, ravaged the capital and prompted the government to resign.

The Amal Movement, which chose the last finance minister, said earlier that it respected Macron’s role, but was “surprised” by his comments holding him responsible for the impasse.


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