Lebanon Daily News 8/3/2021

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


Human Rights Watch Releases Evidence Against Senior Officials in the Beirut Port Blast
In a report published yesterday, Human Rights Watch released evidence against senior Lebanese officials from the August 4 Beirut Port blast and identified systemic legal and political issues that obstruct justice for the explosion. The organization is calling on the UN Human Rights Council to mandate an investigation along with sanctions from other countries against the officials responsible. [HRW]

France and UN to Co-Host International Aid Conference
Tomorrow French President Emmanuel Macron and UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres will co-host an international aid conference for Lebanon, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the August 4 Beirut Port explosion. France says that the conference needs to raise at least $357 million in aid in order to meet Lebanon’s most urgent needs. President Joe Biden will provide pre-recorded remarks at the beginning of the conference. [Al Arabiya]

Miqati Gives Cabinet Formation a Three-Week Deadline
Yesterday during Prime Minister-designate Nijab Miqati’s meeting with President Michel Aoun he reportedly told the president that he is giving a three-week deadline to form a new government. [Naharnet] It is reported that Aoun is demanding the interior and justice portfolios while Miqati is attempting to assign these posts to a “neutral” and reliable” person regardless if they are Sunni or Christian. [Naharnet] The International Support Group met today and further urged Lebanon’s political leaders to form an empowered government that can implement reforms without delay. [Naharnet]


Washington Post
A Year After Beirut’s Blast, Macron’s Lebanon Gambit is a Dud
Ishan Tharoor

Tharoor writes: “Macron promised to help push through much-needed political and economic reforms. He planted a cedar tree — the country’s national emblem — and spoke of ushering in Lebanon’s “rebirth.”…But as Lebanon’s self-appointed midwife, Macron has little to show months later. Cynicism surrounding his gambit set in swiftly. Observers mocked Macron as more popular in Beirut than in Paris, where he will face a stiff test to retain power in elections next year. The limits of his influence were already visible when Lebanon’s political factions blazed by a mid-September deadline to form a new government. The country’s caretaker government is now on its fourth prime minister — the billionaire businessman Najib Mikati — since the explosion took place. Macron repeatedly expressed disappointment with Lebanon’s politicians for prioritizing their narrow interests over the public good. His ire was directed especially at Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite faction with links to Iran, whose allies include the country’s Maronite Christian president, Michel Aoun. But Macron also had minimal leverage over these actors and only belatedly slapped light sanctions on a number of Lebanese politicians linked to allegations of corruption.”

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.