No names announced as French foreign minister says Paris imposes entry restrictions as a sanction for role in Lebanon’s political crisis or corruption.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Paris began imposing entry restrictions on certain Lebanese figures for alleged corruption or hampering efforts to find a solution to Lebanon’s protracted political crisis.
Le Drian did not name the people targeted as he announced the measures on Thursday.
“On a national basis, we have started to implement restrictions on access to French territory against personalities involved in the current political blockage or involved in corruption,” Le Drian said in a statement following a visit to Malta.
“We reserve the right to adopt additional measures against all those preventing an exit from the crisis, and we will do so in coordination with our international partners,” he added.
Two diplomats said a list of names had been put together and people were being made aware, according to the Reuters news agency.
“It’s not just words in the air,” said a French diplomat. “They (Lebanese officials) can reassure themselves that it’s not just threats.”
Le Drian said discussions were already under way with France’s European partners on what “instruments” could be used to increase pressure on Lebanese political figures who are “obstructing a way out of the crisis”.
“Those responsible for the blockage must understand that we will not stand still,” he added.
The statement came after the French ambassador to Lebanon visited the country’s Bekaa Valley, where she reaffirmed Paris’s support.
“Upon the occasion of my first official visit to Bekaa, I have reiterated before my interlocutors France’s attachment to a Lebanon that is unified in its diversity,” Anne Grillo said on Twitter. “France is committed to standing by all the Lebanese in all regions.”
News source: aljazeera