France’s growing Mideast presence
Published on Sep 23, 2020
When European powers ruled the post-Ottoman Middle East, France was Britain’s junior partner and rival, concentrating on the northern part of the Levant - Syria and Lebanon. Following Lebanon’s independence in the 1940’s, France became more of a cultural than a political force – labeling the city of Beirut – Paris of the Mediterranean.
While Syria, Israel, the United States had significantly more influence on Lebanese affairs - the horrendous blast in the port if Beirut on August 4th changed this balance, with President Emmanuel Macron visiting the Lebanese capital twice to demand of local leaders must needed political and economic reforms.
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