On Sunday, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, denounced the government’s intention to close certain diplomatic missions, notably in South America. The issue was on the agenda for Wednesday’s session of the Council of Ministers.

“The Lebanese diaspora is Lebanon’s second lung,” wrote Bassil on his X account. For him, “the decision of the government of expedition of current affairs, devoid of any legitimacy, to close the embassies in Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Malaysia, as well as the consulate general in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a way to stifle Lebanon and a crime against the millions of Lebanese who live in these countries.”

“Whoever does not understand the value of the diaspora does not understand the meaning of Lebanon,” concluded Bassil, recalling the role he had played, as Minister of Foreign Affairs (from 2014 to 2020), in “opening channels of communication” with the Lebanese abroad.

As a reminder, Bassil created, in 2014, the Lebanese Diaspora Energy (LDE) to bring together Lebanese scattered around the world and remind them of their Lebanese roots. This initiative was a staple of his “unifier” policy.