France urges international partners to raise pressure on Lebanese politicians

PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - France’s foreign minister on Wednesday called on international partners to up the pressure on Lebanese political forces to form a government and again warned that only once reforms were underway would vital financial aid arrive.

“The political forces have still not managed to agree on forming a government.” Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a speech to members of the Lebanon International Support Group. “Strong and convergent pressures on our part are therefore necessary to push Lebanese officials to respect their commitments.”

International support group attendees include the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, key regional powers and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

“What is at stake is the future of Lebanon,” Le Drian said during the virtual meeting held as part of the United Nations General Assembly. “Without reforms, there will be no international financial aid.” (Reporting by John Irish; editing by Michelle Nichols)