Lebanese leaders unanimously nominate new Prime Minister after consultations with French President Macron

BEIRUT — Following contacts between French President Emmanuel Macron and senior Lebanese leaders on Saturday and Sunday ahead of his upcoming visit to Lebanon, official consultations took place on Monday among Lebanese leaders to determine a candidate for Prime Minister. Several parties, such as the Free Patriotic Movement, Amal Movement, and Hezbollah agreed to nominate former Lebanese Ambassador to Germany Mustafa Adib, a member of the Future Movement.

According to Lebanese sources, the role of Macron was key in the agreement of the Lebanese leaders to nominate Adib.

The government of Hassan Diab, which announced its dissolution in the wake of the massive explosion at Beirut’s port that killed at least 177 people, injured over 6,000, and left 300,000 other homeless, will act as a caretaker government until a new government is formed.

Last week, Patriarch of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch Béchara Boutros Raï, who has been outspoken since the explosion, advocated for the formation of a technocratic government and the adoption of a national foreign policy of active neutrality.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) warned on Sunday that half of Lebanon’s population may be unable to meet their basic food needs by the end of the year due to the explosion which seriously affected an already collapsing economy and destroyed the county’s largest grain silos.

Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary of ESCWA, called on the Lebanese government to prioritize the reconstruction of grain silos in Beirut’s port, rehabilitate the central medical center, and ensure that the most vulnerable groups, such as the large number of refugees in the country, are provided with essential medicines and vaccines.

Dashti also stressed the importance of strengthening local food systems and replacing some imported agricultural inputs with those that can be produced locally.