Macron to Meet UN Chief to Discuss Lebanese Crisis

Macron to Meet UN Chief to Discuss Lebanese Crisis

Tuesday, 14 November, 2017 - 08:30
French President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)
Paris - Michel Abou Najm
Paris is still exerting great efforts in order to clarify the status of resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is residing in Saudi Arabia.

To that end, President Emmanuel Macron held talks recently with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, in the Kingdom last week. He also met in the United Arab Emirates with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

The French leader is expected to continue these efforts on Lebanon by holding talks on Wednesday with United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany.

Sources from the Elysee Palace refused to comment on what options are available to Marcon, adding however that they are banking on upcoming developments in wake of Hariri’s televised appearance on Sunday. The PM had declared that he has “freedom to move” and that he may return to Lebanon “in the next two days.”

His remarks had eased the tensions in Lebanon and Paris believes that the UN is the natural arena to discuss the Lebanese file, continued the sources.

Macron is scheduled on Tuesday to receive Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, who was dispatched by President Michel Aoun to address the Lebanese crisis in various world capitals.

The Elysee sources stressed that Paris is most concerned with “preserving Lebanon’s stability, security and safety in an environment that is rife with great dangers.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had expressed on Monday his country’s concern over the developments in Lebanon in wake of Hariri’s resignation over a week ago.

He underlined Paris’ keenness on Lebanon’s stability and need to respect the constitution, as well as the importance of keeping it away from foreign meddling.

Le Drian is set to visit the Saudi capital Riyadh on Thursday where he will address regional affairs, including Iran’s interference in Arab affairs.

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