Josep Borrell: Sanctions could be imposed on those standing in the way of government formation in Lebanon

BEIRUT — Shortly before his departure after his brief visit to Lebanon, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell held a press conference during which he noted that the power struggle and mistrust between Lebanese leaders were at the core of the country’s worsening political crisis and inability to form a government.

It was difficult to reach an agreement between people who do not trust each other, he said.

Borrell reiterated comments he made on Saturday when he met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun that European countries are considering imposing sanctions on Lebanese politicians who obstruct the formation of the government and stressed that the formation of the government must be done by the agreement of President Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri. The government should have full political support of national leaders, he said, adding that once formed, the new government could then reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would facilitate European assistance.

Commenting on Borrell’s remarks, Faisal Sayegh, a member of the Lebanese Parliament from the Democratic Meeting (Leq’a) Party, said that broader European intervention beyond the pivotal French support is important for Lebanon to solve the economic and political crises it finds itself in.