Written Question: Turkish interference in Lebanon
Date submitted: 26 March 2021
Question for written answer E-001694/2021/rev.1
to the Commission
Thierry Mariani (ID)
Subject: Turkish interference in Lebanon
Lebanon is a strategically important country in the context of the EU’s neighbourhood policy. Unfortunately, it is now classified as a country at very high risk of famine. The Lebanese economy is in free fall owing to the weakness of the country’s currency, and Lebanese society is dangerously fragmented. Although the explosion which shook the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020 offered a warning, the international community seems unaware of the dangerous geopolitical developments in the region.
Turkey’s efforts to tip the balance of power in the Levant to its advantage involve Lebanon as well. Yearning as always for a return to the days of Ottoman imperialism, President Erdogan is pursuing an aggressive policy towards Lebanese society, in particular in the north of the country.
On 4 July 2020, the Lebanese police arrested individuals who had with them money to be used to fund operations to destabilise the city of Tripoli(1). In August 2020, the Turkish Foreign Minister announced that he was making Turkish nationality available to individuals of Turkmen origin or who claimed such descent(2). This decision risks upsetting the fragile balances in northern Lebanon.
- Has the Commission informed the Turkish authorities that it is monitoring their attempts to interfere in Lebanon?
- Does the Commission consider that Lebanon should be protected against Turkish interference?