France's Le Drian to LBCI: I support the term extension of army commander

Lebanon News
2023-12-01 | 14:37
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France's Le Drian to LBCI: I support the term extension of army commander
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France's Le Drian to LBCI: I support the term extension of army commander

French Presidential Envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian addressed the issue of the Lebanese presidency, stating, "The country is without a president and has a caretaker government. There is a state of paralysis that must be overcome, in addition to the security dilemma we observe with the possibility of a devastating war erupting in southern Lebanon."

Le Drian's remarks were made during an interview with LBCI, whereby he added, "The current crisis requires urgent action on the issue of presidential elections because there will be negotiations at times, and it is preferable to have a Lebanese authority that negotiates on behalf of all parties. Otherwise, Lebanon will not determine its fate but will be subject to it."

Regarding France's role in the Lebanese presidential file, Le Drian affirmed, "France's role is to enable the Lebanese to find a consensus candidate, and it is up to the Lebanese officials to agree on a name for the presidency."

He also said, "After speaking with the parties, it became clear that none of the possible candidates from before June 14 can garner enough votes."

He pointed out that "Saudi Arabia supports the option of the third candidate and is moving again to get Lebanon out of the crisis. It is time for the officials to take the utmost responsibility, and the Lebanese people will hold them accountable."

On the southern front and the security situation, Le Drian indicated, "Nothing prevents the possibility of a dramatic escalation of the security situation in Lebanon."

"We urge Lebanon and Israel to exercise restraint because any escalation will have tragic consequences for everyone, and France is not biased toward Israel," Le Drian stressed. 

Furthermore, the French Envoy added, "President Macron sent me on a mission as a mediator, not as a substitute. A mediator means making the Lebanese try together to get out of this impasse because internal relations are largely frozen."

He explained, "The recent alarming situation after the Gaza clashes urges us to expedite efforts to exit the crisis."

Regarding the term extension of the Army Commander Joseph Aoun, Le Drian emphasized, "I support the extension for the Army Commander because the Lebanese need security."

"Since the Army Commander cannot be replaced in the absence of a president, extending his term is necessary at this stage. There is a national duty to find a constitutional way out of this difficult situation," Le Drian highlighted. 
 

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