Skip to main content

French FM says some Lebanese politicians banned from France over failure to form government

Lebanon has been without a Cabinet since last year, and France does not want to provide the country much-needed aid until economic reforms are implemented.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian shakes hands with a French soldier of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon during a visit to the contingent headquarters in the southern village of Deir Kifa, Lebanon, April 20, 2015.

The French foreign minister said today that France has blocked some Lebanese politicians from entering the European country due to alleged corruption. His comments follow continued political deadlock in Lebanon.

“At the national level, we’ve started implementing restrictive measures as regards to access to French territory against figures involved in the current political deadlock or involved in corruption,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a press conference in Malta, according to a French Foreign Ministry press release.

Lebanon has been without a Cabinet since August of last year when Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s Cabinet resigned en masse following the Beirut port explosion. Politicians have failed to form a new government since then, and Diab remains as caretaker prime minister. Veteran politician Saad Hariri was named prime minister-designate in October, but he has yet to build a new coalition. Lebanon is also in the midst of a devastating economic crisis.

France has led international calls for a new Lebanese government that will make widespread economic reforms in the country. Lebanon was promised an $11 billion aid package in Paris in 2018 if it could implement structural reforms, but these never happened. French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut in August in the aftermath of the explosion. France is supportive of Hariri’s efforts to form a new Cabinet, but remains adamant that there will be no aid without reform.

Lebanon was a French colony in the 20th century and the two countries maintain close relations today.

Drian was critical of the Lebanese political class in his remarks.

"You know the serious deterioration in the economic, social and humanitarian situation and the fact that the political leaders continue to hinder the formation of a competent government able to reform the country,” he said.

Drian added that France and other European states could pursue additional measures against some Lebanese officials who are “obstructing a way out of the crisis.”

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

The Middle East in your inbox Insights in your inbox.

Deepen your knowledge of the Middle East

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial