Paris will slap Lebanese elites with sanctions and could even withhold crucial financial aid if Beirut fails to implement reforms, the French president has warned.

The upcoming months would be “fundamental” for what he described as “real change,” Macron told Politico as he was heading to Beirut for a second visit in a month. Should he be not satisfied with the reforms made within the set period of time, punitive measures will follow, he added.

The list of such measures ranges from personal sanctions against members of the Lebanese political elite, to blocking an international financial bailout – vital for a country gripped by a prolonged economic and political crisis, and struggling with the aftermath of the recent major explosion in the capital.

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