Political significance of Macron’s visit to lebanon after the Beirut 2020 explosion

What is the political significance of Macron’s visit to lebanon after the Beirut 2020 explosion?

When did Lebanon become a country and how?
chapters 11 and 12 from: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aucegypt/detail.action?docID=991098

Relation between Syria and lebanon
èAboultaif EW. The Evolution of Lebanese and Syrian State-to-State Relations. Contemporary Review of the Middle East. 2016;3(2):162-178. doi:10.1177/2347798916638211

The families who govern Lebanon over the last few decades
èBaylouny, A.M. and Klingseis, S.J. (2018), Water Thieves or Political Catalysts? Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Middle East Policy, 25: 104-123. https://doi.org/10.1111/mepo.12328

Lebanese economy last 5 to 10 years
è Ghalayini, Latifa. “Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Fluctuations of the Lebanese Economy.” Journal of Economic Structures, vol. 7, no. 1, Oct. 2018, p. 1. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1186/s40008-018-0126-y.

èD. K. Fieldhouse. Western Imperialism in the Middle East 1914-1958. OUP Oxford, 2006. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=177062&site=ehost-live.

Summary: Great Lebanon was created in 1920 by the French, consisted of large tribal societies. The main Maronite area was populated by a mosaic of powerful landholding kindred groups and was based on mythical descent from pre-Islamic kindreds. Lebanon was divided in terms of religion in many different sects, power struggles developed and caused 3 civil wars in 1841, 1845 and 1860. Great Lebanon was consisted mainly of the economically weak mountain districts, depended on imported wheat and other foodstuffs so demanded more territory and access to great commercial ports. Lebanon’s governor had to be Christian, the most important feature of this system was the powers and composition of the administrative council, composed of different sects members to prevent Maronite domination. In 1920, Great Lebanon was difficult to control by the mandatory power, the aim of those who established the regime was to provide Christian majority to prevent any other sectarian massacre. Beirut is the main spot where the business is done as its natural point of access to the Mediterranean, in addition to this many Christians emigrated. In 1918, France interfered as Christians savior as Lebanese were a divided society and in a civil war, moreover, Maronites wanted a Christian state under the French protection and to control Syria as many orthodox wanted to join the mountain as a defense against their Muslim neighbors. In 1913, an anti-French sentiment started appearing due to their dominance of much modern economy of Lebanon what made Christians and Muslims collaborate and send to the Arab congress in Paris. In October 1918, the French had an Anglo-French agreement that OETA west would have French civil administration. However, in April 1918, if Faysal accepted a French mandate over the whole of Syria, Lebanon would be included in a federation of local communities what discounted Maronite demands for separation in independence and on October 27, 1919, a peace conference was made to claim Lebanon’s complete independence under the French mandate. On the Christian side, almost all Maronites and Greek Catholics supported a French mandate and separation of Syria and Lebanon because they feared Muslim dominance. All this was designed to avoid conflict with an extended mountain and to serve French interests by cutting off more Muslim areas of Lebanon from those in Syria to be linked in a loose Lebanese federation because the mountain was occupied by Sunni and Shii Muslims who expected to be part of Muslim Syria. Lebanon can only be run by a policy of division correctly proportioned among the various elements which compose it. Greek orthodox wanted Beirut to be made an independent city or independent coastal zone but France blocked these demands. This resulted an outcry from the Maronites mainly as they always regarded France as the defender of their interests. In may 1925, a French deputy was sent to Beirut and discussed possibilities with a wide range of local notables and politicians to accept the demand of Lebanon taking part in the preparation of the constitution. When the issue was debated in 1931, the French army and the naval officers were opposed to a Lebanese treaty as France must maintain full control over the major ports. On the Muslim side, there were three main standpoints; those who accepted greater Lebanon so long as Muslims had full equality, those who demanded the full union of the Muslim areas with Syria and those who were prepared for independence provided the Maronites broke their ties with France. In fact, in 1936 France wanted to settle a Lebanese treaty to be presented to the league of nations along with that of Syria. After in 1937, Lebanese went anti-French stance and demanded to end the mandate. The period falls into three phases; from 1939 to May 1941, from then to 1943 and from then until 1945-6. Lebanon remained under the Vichy government after the fall of France in 1940. France always wanted Lebanon to be anti-german, so in 1944 Lebanon and Syria declared war against Germany and Japan as independent states and joined the newly formed Arab league. Lebanon became virtually a french city because of the French language schools education and culture learned from it. In addition to this, Lebanon provided opportunities for french investments in infrastructure and banking and after 1920, mostly built modern infrastructure are owned and run by French companies. French incorporated a large minority of Muslims into the new territory the french placed and that created huge pressure on political institutions and that is the worst thing they have done in Lebanon because they are creating a plural society.

èBaroudi, Sami E., and Imad Salamey. “US-French Collaboration on Lebanon: How Syria’s Role in Lebanon and the Middle East Contributed to a US-French Convergence.” Middle East Journal, vol. 65, no. 3, 2011, pp. 398–425. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23012172. Accessed 26 Sept. 2020.

Summary: This part explains how the two powers reacted to conflicts between Israel and Hizbullah

which will be useful for understanding the geopolitical situation of Lebanon in the 21st


In the 2006 Lebanon war Hezbullah demonstrated their capabilities and the threat they
cause to the region. Thus, the two powers interfered with their diplomatic efforts.

However, differences between the two countries started to manifest as the United States
was way more supportive for Israel and France putted her effort to end violence against

civilians, but both agreed on the necessity of a ceasefire to stop Hizbullah’s attacks and

armed presence.

France relation with Lebanon: was more responsive to the Lebanese demand.
Hizbullah with their Free Patriotic Movement paralyzed life trying to bring down the
government but the US-French powers supports it more and more. These measures

suggested by the two powers were adopted by the UNSC resolution which represented

the two country’s victory.

Nicholas Sarkozy was the new president in France and continue to express his country’s
commitment for the development of the country “in order to "help the Lebanese people

affirm the independence, their sovereignty, their freedom, their democracy”

The French president showed his willingness of Lebanon’s wellbeing by trying to improve
the Syrian-Lebanese relations. Then he expressed disappointment of the Syrian situation

due to Assad cutting any contact with the country. France putts considerable efforts even

after all the events of the war and the uprisings to protect Lebanon from a government

dominated by Hizbullah or impacted by Iran or Syria.

The Bush administration disappeared from the Lebanese conflicts leaving France in
charge and its role became more and more marginal in the country.

A threat of a new civil war: Hizbullah and its allies took over the Sunni Western part of
Beirut. But the Doha agreement tried to avoid the repeat of a devastating civil war.

However bloody events took place and uprising s emerged in the region giving space to

more conflicts.


“Emmanuel Macron visits Beirut to reshape Lebanon; After the blast.” The Economist, 1 Sept. 2020, p. NA. Gale In Context: Biography, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A634237929/BIC?u=aucairo&sid=BIC&xid=f5d48d71. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

“The sultan et le president; Lebanon.” The Economist, 5 Sept. 2020, p. 39(US). Gale In Context: Biography, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A634353403/BIC?u=aucairo&sid=BIC&xid=64301123. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

Momtaz, Rym. “Macron on Lebanon: ‘It’s a Risky Bet I’m Making’.” POLITICO,POLITICO,Sept. 2020, www.politico.eu/article/emmanuel-macrons-risky-bet-in-lebanon-beirut-explosion/.

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