Ongoing presidential stalemate: French envoy's third visit to Lebanon to be followed by a fourth trip

News Bulletin Reports
2023-09-15 | 10:23
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Ongoing presidential stalemate: French envoy's third visit to Lebanon to be followed by a fourth trip
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Ongoing presidential stalemate: French envoy's third visit to Lebanon to be followed by a fourth trip

Jean-Yves Le Drian's third and somewhat unpredictable visit to Lebanon did not yield a breakthrough in the presidential stalemate. 

Although some individuals he met sensed slight progress in the political landscape, a definitive resolution remains elusive.

Le Drian met in Ain el-Tineh during his visit with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, marking another stop on his tour. This meeting was included in the tally of his discussions, with sources close to Berri suggesting his continued commitment to the dialogue. 

LBCI noted that Berri remains cautious, awaiting the outcome of internal and local consultations. The ongoing coordination between Berri and Le Drian is being closely monitored.

The caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati received a call from the French envoy just before his return to Paris, during which the envoy briefed him on the series of meetings. According to a statement from the Grand Serail, both affirmed that the results of the discussions were positive and expressed hope for the imminent election of a new president.

Le Drian is set to report the outcomes of his meetings to the members of the Quintet Committee and consult with them on the prospects of the next phase. He may also propose new ideas based on the committee's determination to expedite the electoral process and prevent further delays.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah expressed its surprise at rumors suggesting a departure from its support for presidential candidate Sleiman Frangieh, reiterating to LBCI its steadfastness in supporting Frangieh and its opposition to engaging in any dialogue before parliamentary sessions for the election are convened. 

In light of the entrenched positions of both sides, Le Drian encouraged them to consider the possibility of a third option openly.

However, Le Drian is expected to return to Beirut for a fourth visit between late September and early October. 

During this visit, he plans to organize a meeting at the Pine Palace to delve into the answers he has received from the various parties regarding the posed questions. 

There are indications that Le Drian is contemplating holding discussion sessions at the Pine Palace or a neutral location with parliamentary blocs to reach an agreement on presidential elections and candidate nominations. This could pave the way for the actual election session.

Will this proposal come to fruition and facilitate a solution, or will the deep-seated divisions among parliamentarians continue to drag the country into further turmoil?

Lebanon News

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Ongoing

Presidential

Stalemate

French

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Lebanon

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