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August 27, 2020, 10.21 PM

Read also: World Donors Demand Reforms Before Disbursing $300 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Lebanon

But he has made it clear that the country needs political reform as well as financial help, a message that has struck a chord with many Lebanese tired of decades of rule by the same political dynasties.

No blank cheque

Premier Hassan Diab's cabinet has resigned over the blast, which was blamed on a store of ammonium nitrate left for years in a port warehouse despite warnings.

But in a pattern all-too-familiar to the Lebanese, the country today appears no closer to forming a new government.

A French diplomatic source told AFP in Paris that the working document for the visit did not constitute a "roadmap" and France had no intention of meddling in Lebanese affairs.

Read also: France’s Emmanuel Macron Pledges Support during Visit to Lebanon

"But as the president has said 'a friend needs to be demanding with its friend'. It is this idea of being demanding that requires these elements to be discussed," said the source, who asked not to be named.

"There is no question of offering a blank cheque," added the source.

Lebanon was under the French mandate from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the wake of World War I until its independence in November 1943. 

(Writers: Laurence Benhamou, Valérie Leroux) 


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