Report: France to Treat Shiite Duo’s Finance Demand as ‘Unconstitutional’

Amid the insistence of the Shiite duo to retain the finance ministry, France is inclined to handle this as “unconstitutional” because Lebanon’s political components reject it, Nidaa al-Watan newspaper reported on Monday.

Diplomatic sources told the daily the departure of outgoing French ambassador to Lebanon Bernard Faucher Beirut last Saturday, no doubt will affect the direct French contact with Hizbullah.

Hizbullah was comfortable in dealing with Faucher, according to the daily. But, it will have to anticipate today whether the new ambassador succeeding him could adopt a new approach with Hizbullah shall the latter fail the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron.

AMAL Movement and Hizbullah, the two main Shiite groups in Lebanon’s usual power-sharing arrangement, insisted on retaining the finance ministry, effectively blocking the efforts of PM-designate Mustafa Adib.

Other political parties reject the Shiite duo’s demands and blame it for the cabinet delay, and hence thwarting a French initiative to help steer Lebanon out of its crisis.

France is reportedly inclined to consider “unconstitutional” the adamant positions of AMAL and Hizbullah, said the sources.

In addition to unlocking billions of dollars of Cedre funds for Lebanon’s crisis-hit economy, Macron had vowed to hold an international conference in Paris in October to coordinate aid and mobilize international support if Lebanese leaders commit to reforms as pledged.

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