Charbel Wehbi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Lebanon
In dialogue with Viviana Mazza, Corriere della Sera and Ugo Tramballi, Senior Advisor, Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), Italy
Pivotal for the regional balance of the Levant, and an integral part of the Arab world, Lebanon is currently facing a severe political and socio-economic crisis, which was further exacerbated by August 4th explosion. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic added a new layer of complexity for a country that is already dealing with multi-faceted challenges and that over time has become s a sanctuary for refugees fleeing adjacent conflicts. Overall, the virus had put a strain on the Lebanese, exacerbating pre-existing socio-economic fragilities and threatening to jeopardize the country’s fragile domestic equilibrium.
To address these concerns, the establishment of a functional cabinet becomes a vital step in implementing the comprehensive reforms necessary to drive Lebanon along the path of recovery, to restore the population’s confidence, champion the importance of the state and eventually address Lebanon’s vulnerabilities. Following the tragic explosion of this past August, a strong international response is equally critical to deliver assistance to the country, help it overcome its economic and financial challenges, rebuild its domestic stability, and support its refugee population.
Charbel Wehbi is a Lebanese politician. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants in August of this year. Prior to this posting, Mr. Wehbè was the diplomatic advisor to President Michel Aoun. His political career has led him to serve on behalf of the Lebanese government in many different countries. From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Wehbè was the Lebanese ambassador to Venezuela. He also served as general Consul in Los Angeles from 2007 to 2012 and in Montréal from 1995 to 2000. In regards to his studies, Mr. Wehbè studied both Law and Mathematics during his academic path at the University of Lebanon.