The Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, considered that an external siege is pushing his country to complete collapse, and the Future Movement accused the presidency of submitting to the “personal ambitions” of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gibran Bassil, while the presidency accused Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri of evading his responsibility in forming the government.
Diab said in a televised speech this evening, Wednesday, that there is an external siege imposed on Lebanon to push it to a complete collapse, considering that the repercussions of any collapse will not affect the Lebanese only, but also all residents on the land of Lebanon. Read also The Lebanese are angry at their country after Saudi Arabia seized a Lebanese pomegranate stuffed with drugs Paris stands on the brink of Lebanon’s collapse… The crisis of forming a government or a French dilemma?The French Foreign Minister in Beirut… What is the fate of the Paris initiative to solve the Lebanese crisis?
Diab also called on the brothers of Lebanon not to burden the Lebanese with consequences for which they do not bear any responsibility, as the people need to stand with him, as he put it.
He concluded his speech by saying that Lebanon is in the midst of grave danger. Either save it now before it is too late, or else regret will not help.
And earlier today, the Future Movement – which is led by Hariri – said that the presidency of the republic is captive to what he described as the personal ambitions of Gibran Bassil.
He added in a statement that the Lebanese president is just a front for a project aimed at reproducing Basil in the internal equations, and saving him from what he called the state of confusion he is experiencing, as he described it.
This came after a statement by the Presidency of the Republic in which it was stated that the claim that President Michel Aoun is trying to undermine the Taif Agreement is a deception of public opinion.
The statement accused Hariri of trying to seize the powers of the President of the Republic by inventing new rules in forming the government, according to the statement’s description.
The Presidency of the Republic added that Hariri is evading his responsibilities in forming a balanced government, considering that this constitutes a further violation of the constitution, and indicates a deliberate desire to obstruct the formation of the government, according to the statement.
The Future Movement had said – in a previous statement – that President Aoun and Gibran Bassil’s will to obstruction takes precedence over all national wills seeking to form a government.
The crisis in forming the government began last August when Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government after protests that followed the explosion of the port of Beirut.
On the other hand, the International Tribunal for Lebanon announced that it will have to stop its work after next July due to a severe lack of funding.
The tribunal – established by the United Nations in 2007 to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri – said it was facing an unprecedented financial crisis, and that without immediate funding it would not be able to operate after next July.
A Reuters report revealed last week that the court’s funds – which derive 51% of its funding from voluntary contributions and 49% from the Lebanese government – have run out.
Last year, the court convicted a member of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Salim Jamil Ayyash, in absentia, in the bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others, and sentenced him to life imprisonment in a ruling that is being appealed. The court acquitted 3 defendants belonging to the party.
The court’s budget last year amounted to 55 million euros ($67 million), and the statement issued today stated that despite the reduction of the current year’s budget by 37% and the receipt of a contribution from the United Nations in the amount of $15.5 million on behalf of Lebanon last March, other contributions not fulfilled.
The statement said that court officials had informed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the situation, and that judges and other staff were preparing steps to preserve court records and taking steps “with regard to witness protection.”