Macron calls for the swift formation of Lebanese government

In his second visit in Beirut in less than a month on Monday French President Emmanuel Macron called for the swift formation of government to lead crisis-hit Lebanon, following the designation of a new prime minister, news wires reported.

Speaking on his arrival at Beirut airport, Macron said a new line-up should be agreed "as soon as possible" to rescue the country, which is reeling from the deadly port explosion on 4 August, an economic collapse and the coronavirus pandemic.

Macron arrived in Beirut hours after Lebanese leaders named diplomat Mustapha Adib as the new prime minister on Monday under French pressure. Senior Lebanese officials said Macron's mediation was essential in securing agreement on a new prime minister in the 48 hours before consensus emerged on Adib, the former ambassador to Germany. Politicians had been deadlocked last week.

Macron was met at the airport by President Michel Aoun. He also addressed the Lebanese people in an Arabic-language tweet, saying he had returned as promised to "work together to create necessary conditions for reconstruction and stability".

Macron seeks to push politicians to enact reforms that donors have demanded to tackle corruption and waste before they will release financial support.

Lebanon is facing the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-90 civil war.

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