New European sanctions on Lebanese politicians

BRUSSELS / WASHINGTON, D.C. / PARIS — The European Union said on Friday that it had adopted a legal framework for sanctions targeting Lebanese individuals and entities undermining democracy and the rule of law.

According to the framework, sanctions could consist of a travel ban to the European Union and the freezing of personal and organizational assets.

Persons and entities in the European Union are also prohibited from making funds available to those on the sanctions list.

The EU stated that it is necessary for the Lebanese leadership to put aside their differences to form a government and take action to guide the country towards sustainable recovery, adding, “The sanctions will include those responsible for financial misconduct, with regard to public funds.”

The United States welcomed the adoption of a new sanctions regime by the EU targeting active Lebanese politicians to promote accountability and reform in their country.

“It is important that Lebanese leaders respond to their people’s repeated calls to end widespread corruption and form a government that can embark on decisive reforms to address the deteriorating situation in the country,” said the U.S. Treasury Department and the State Department in a joint statement.

France, which has been at the forefront of the EU effort to bring Lebanon back from the brink, stated via French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Mühll that, “Paris is ready to increase pressure with its European and international partners on Lebanese political leaders to achieve this.”

“In the meantime, to meet the needs of Lebanese whose situation is deteriorating every day, a new international conference will be organized to support the Lebanese people on 4 August at the initiative of France,” added von der Mühll.