Le champ de mines libanais

À première vue, la conférence des donateurs occidentaux et des nations arabes riches en pétrole cette semaine à Paris poursuit essentiellement les travaux des deux précédentes conférences multilatérales de 2001 et 2002, destinées à aider le Liban à reconstruire ses infrastructures, après des années de guerre civile, de son occupation par Israël et à s’attaquer au problème de l’énorme dette publique du pays. Cette fois-ci les donateurs s’attacheront également à compenser les pertes directes et indirectes de 3,5 milliards de dollars dues à la guerre de l’été 2006 entre Israël et le Hezbollah, et la nouvelle augmentation de la dette publique, qui atteint le montant vertigineux de 40,6 milliards de dollars, équivalant à 180 pour cent du PIB libanais.

Bien que l’ordre du jour de la conférence paraisse clair, « Paris III » a également un objectif politique à peine dissimulé : soutenir le gouvernement du Premier ministre libanais Fouad Siniora face au mouvement de protestation mené par le Hezbollah, et par là même limiter l’influence de la Syrie et de l’Iran, les appuis régionaux du Hezbollah.

Mais les pays occidentaux ont tout intérêt à agir avec la plus grande prudence. Ils courent le risque de se retrouver impliqués de manière partiale dans les affaires internes libanaises. Ils doivent également prendre garde à ne pas faire le jeu de l’Arabie saoudite, de l’Égypte et de la Jordanie – qui ne sont pas précisément des modèles de démocratie - pressés d’affronter ce qu’ils qualifient d’ « axe » du pouvoir chiite, allant de l’Iran au Liban en passant par la Syrie, et l’Irak.

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