French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as special envoy to Lebanon, in a new attempt to end the political crisis in the Arab country.
The French presidency said in a statement that "in the spirit of friendship between France and Lebanon, the President of the Republic continues to work to resolve the institutional crisis and implement the reforms necessary for the recovery of this country," according to Reuters.
"Jean-Yves Le Drian has appointed ... as his personal representative for dialogue with all those who can contribute to resolving the crisis, whether inside or outside Lebanon."
An adviser to the French president, who asked not to be named, told AFP that Le Drian, 75, would be tasked with helping find a "consensual and effective" solution to the Lebanese crisis, which has worsened, especially after the Beirut port explosion on August 2020, <>.
The adviser added that Le Drian "plans to go to Lebanon very soon," noting that Macron asked him "to quickly prepare for him a report on the situation" in this country that includes "proposals for action."
Le Drian was France's foreign minister between 2017 and 2022 and was responsible for implementing a number of Macron's initiatives related to Lebanon.
Since September 2022, the Lebanese parliament has failed in 11 sessions to elect a new president to succeed Michel Aoun, whose term ended on October 31, 2022.
Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis since 2019, which led to a record collapse in the value of the local currency against the dollar, in addition to the scarcity of consumer goods, most notably fuel and medicines, in addition to a sharp decline in purchasing power.