Is Lebanon Under an American-French Mandate? Online People Are Afraid So

Published July 11th, 2021 - 06:28 GMT
French and US ambassadors to Lebanon
The French and US ambassadors to Lebanon have come under fire recently. (Twitter: @KarMostafa)

As the Lebanese economic crisis continues to tighten, international discussions over the worsening situation have come under local fires, as many Lebanese commentators questioned stances by the French and the American ambassadors to the country, describing them as mandate-like.

Translation: "The high commissioners of Lebanon the American Dorothy Shea and the French Anne Grillo are acting as though Lebanon is under their madate."

In two weeks, Lebanon will commemorate the first anniversary of the devastating Beirut port explosion, which killed more than 200 people and injured at least 7500 others, destroying major parts of the city. Meanwhile, the local economy is suffering acute shortages in basic products and a horrific collapse in the currency's value, which has been devalued by more than 90% since October 2019.

These developments aggravated by severe political divisions amongst Lebanese politicians have been extensively discussed by international parties, including the French and American ambassadors to the country.

Translation: "The French and American ambassadors are leaving to KSA to raise their sympathy for Lebanon in light of the financial and economic collapse, but what can Saudi and others do to Lebanon when its the Lebanese politicians who have caused it to go broke? The issue is in our state and cannot be solved by any amount of money as long as we have the same ruling class."

Translation: "I think the ambassadors have every right to intervene in Lebanon as long as our government is begging for money and food at foreign embassies."

However, a growing sentiment of anger is targeting these two ambassadors in particular, especially as the US embassy in Beirut has announced the ambassador's departure to Saudi Arabia, in an effort to land a political solution to the worsening crisis in Lebanon.

According to many online voices, the roles of a number of international entities in Lebanon, including France, the US, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are becoming more of direct intervention in Lebanese matters than support or help for the struggling country.

Some social media users have used the word "mandate" to describe the French and American roles, in reference to the 20th-century colonial control practiced by France in Lebanon between 1923−1946.

While many online commentators have blamed Lebanese politicians for creating room for foreign powers to intervene in local issues. They also condemned "decades of corruption and reliance on foreign aid" that have "led to the increased control of France and the US over Lebanon."

Meanwhile, online people widely shared tweets by the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon as he announced his intention to stay in Lebanon despite the severe crisis, at a time other diplomats bid the country farewell including the UK ambassador

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