Haggard Hariri Heads to Helper’s House, Hoping to Hasten Hurting Homeland’s Healing
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Wednesday met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to discuss Lebanon’s catastrophic economic and political situation, as the two reviewed efforts to resolve the battered nation’s crises. In recent months, and to a greater extent after the August blast that decimated Beirut, Macron has spearheaded global initiatives to salvage the former French protectorate, mired in its worst financial crunch in decades and an ongoing political stalemate. Hariri, tabbed to replace Prime Minister Hassan Diab after the latter’s resignation in August, has struggled to form a government willing to pass sweeping reforms, a prerequisite for international monetary organizations and European bodies to transfer billions of dollars in aid funds. While Diab has stayed on in a caretaker capacity, squabbles between Hariri and Hizbullah, the powerful political and military group designated entirely or partially a terrorist organization by the US and EU, have so far prevented the establishment of a viable government.