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PARIS, July 12 (Reuters) – The European Union on Monday agreed to adopt a sanctions regime against Lebanese leaders by the end of July, France said, with the aim of forcing a stable government out of close proximity a year of political chaos Beirut explosion.
“A moment ago, there was a political consensus to put in place a framework of legal sanctions before the end of the month, before the anniversary of the explosion of the port of Beirut,” said the French Minister of Affairs. foreigners Jean-Yves Le Drian to the press in Brussels after a meeting with his EU counterparts.
“Lebanon has been in self-destruction mode for several months,” Le Drian said. “Now there is a major emergency for a population that is in distress.”
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, frustrating French efforts to encourage a new government.
“To the Lebanese authorities, we repeat the necessity that there is to form a government, to carry out the necessary reforms to get out of this tragedy in which they find themselves”, added Le Drian.
For a few days after the explosion, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to pressure and cajole Lebanese leaders to form a technocratic government that would be able to rebuild the capital and save the country’s economy from collapse.
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. (Reporting by Richard Lough; written by Michel Rose; edited by Hugh Lawson)
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