PARIS, July 12 (Reuters) – The European Union announced on Monday that it wanted to approve the legal framework for a sanctions regime targeting Lebanese leaders by the end of July, but warned that the measure would not be immediately implemented.
Led by France, the EU seeks to step up pressure on Lebanon’s quarrelsome politicians after 11 months of a crisis that has left Lebanon facing financial collapse, hyperinflation, power outages and blackouts. fuel and food shortages.
The move is part of broader international efforts to force a stable government capable of delivering crucial reforms out of nearly a year of political chaos and economic collapse following an explosion that ravaged the port of Beirut.
“I can say the goal is to finish this by the end of the month. I’m not talking about the implementation of the regime, just the building of the regime on a solid legal basis, ”EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters. in Brussels.
Almost a year after the August 4 explosion, which left more than 200 dead, thousands injured and devastated entire swathes of the capital, Lebanon is still ruled by an interim government.
“Lebanon has been in self-destruction mode for several months,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Brussels. “Now there is a major emergency for a population that is in distress. “
The EU must first put in place a sanctions regime which could then see individuals face travel bans and asset freezes, although it may also decide not to enroll anyone immediately.
Le Drian said there was now a consensus among the 27 nations in the bloc for a regime.
EU sanctions criteria such as travel bans and asset freezes for Lebanese politicians are likely to include corruption, obstructing efforts to form a government, financial mischief and rights violations of the man, according to a diplomatic note consulted by Reuters. Read more
Reporting by Richard Lough and John Irish; written by Michel Rose and John Irish; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Marguerita Choy
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