What will the Paris meeting on Lebanon discuss?

News Bulletin Reports
2023-01-20 | 10:18
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What will the Paris meeting on Lebanon discuss?
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What will the Paris meeting on Lebanon discuss?

The upcoming Paris meeting at the beginning of February, devoted to discussing the Lebanese file, will not enter the game of putting forward names for the presidency, even if the presidential file is on the discussion table.

The four participating countries, i.e., the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, are most concerned about putting pressure on ending the presidential vacuum and urging the Lebanese parliament to carry out its complete duties without entering into the names game, which is a matter that concerns the Lebanese alone.

French Ambassador Anne Grillo met on Thursday, with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, and has informed them of the meeting. 

The ambassador informed Mikati and Berri of the ideas to be discussed. The meeting will be held at the level of general secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the participating countries and senior advisors, not with any higher level representation. 

Egypt could be included in the meeting because of its prominent regional role. Perhaps in subsequent sessions, Jordan and other European countries, such as Germany and Italy, will be invited.

According to follow-up sources, the French were willing to lure the participants into a political position related to the presidency. Still, the response of other countries was different from their desire. They will emphasize the continuation of stability and the lack of delay in economic reform that allows for overcoming the many difficulties that Lebanon has faced in the years. 

The meeting will also focus on service and humanitarian affairs that France and Saudi Arabia have been working on through a joint fund for nearly a year and will try to expand its framework because of the needs of the Lebanese people.

Among the topics that Paris is working on is facilitating the export of electricity from Jordan and gas from Egypt.

Jordan will likely be invited to participate in a subsequent meeting of this group, especially since there is a beginning of French satisfaction with Lebanon's reforms in the electricity file, including the start of forming the regulatory authority.

Follow-up Lebanese sources said that no one could bet on solutions anytime soon, especially from abroad. The sources added that the Lebanese have only to try to save themselves and not rely on foreign initiatives, through consensus among themselves to elect a president who will have a fundamental role in restoring the order of the state and its institutions.

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