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Macron sees Lebanon’s support and aid as a ‘risky bet’ worth taking

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Emmanuel Macron says he’s making a “risky bet” by working to avoid a political collapse in Lebanon, but is limited in what he can achieve.

“It’s the last chance for this system,” the French president told POLITICO in an interview while en route from Paris to Beirut.

“It’s a risky bet I’m making, I am aware of it … I am putting the only thing I have on the table: my political capital.”

The coming six weeks are crucial for the future of Lebanon, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters in Beirut during an official visit to the country reeling from last month’s deadly port blast and rising sectarian tensions. Macron said he was ready to host an international conference on how to help Lebanon in mid-October.

Lebanese politicians, some former warlords who have overseen decades of industrial-scale state corruption, face a daunting task with an economy in crisis, a swathe of Beirut in tatters after the Aug. 4 port blast and sectarian tensions rising.

On Tuesday, Macron said that the “truth of the numbers” in the Lebanese banking system needed to be known so that judicial action could be taken, saying the country was suffering a banking and central banking crisis.

“There is today a Lebanese central banking crisis, a Lebanese banking system in crisis. A lot of funds were likely taken out,” Macron said in comments while on a visit Beirut.

“Today everything is blocked and Lebanon can no longer finance itself, so there needs to be an audit … there is likely money that has been diverted. So we need to know the truth of the numbers and then that judicial actions are taken,” he said.

POLITICO / Reuters

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