Contradictory Readings and International Dynamics in Lebanon's Presidential File

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2023-09-18 | 00:29
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Contradictory Readings and International Dynamics in Lebanon's Presidential File
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4min
Contradictory Readings and International Dynamics in Lebanon's Presidential File

The readings and assessments regarding the path of the presidential file and diplomatic efforts towards Lebanon remain contradictory.

French Determination

Some parties consider that the regional and international developments may lead to achieving the required results. Others still downplay the significance of these movements and believe they will not yield the desired outcomes.
 
 
Following the visit of French envoy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and while awaiting his return later this month for meetings in the Pine Palace, it indicates French determination to continue its interest in Lebanon and not abandon it for any other party. Le Drian emphasized that his actions are coordinated with the five nations.
Qatari Role
Representatives of these countries will hold meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, with the possibility of holding a quintet meeting. 
 
Based on this, Le Drian must act again, while the quintet's role within it may be clarified. In this context, Lebanese sources suggest that in light of French persistence in pursuing the same path, which has not yielded any breaches, the movement of another quintet country is awaited. 
 
Here, the Lebanese are relying on Qatar's role. Several stakeholders and parliamentary blocs are anticipating Qatari action in the Lebanese arena, especially as they believe that Qatar coordinates its movements with Saudi Arabia and the United States. 
 
Therefore, its actions are expected to be more effective, especially given its success in brokering the partial Iranian-US agreement regarding the release of hostages and Iranian funds.
Yemen in Exchange for Lebanon?
 
Simultaneously, other Lebanese calculations emerge regarding what is happening in the region, between Iran and Saudi Arabia, especially in light of the visit of a Houthi delegation to Riyadh accompanied by an Omani delegation to explore the possibility of a comprehensive peace agreement in Yemen. 
 
This is not unrelated to the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Oman, which also witnesses Iranian-US negotiations at the same time. In this context, Lebanese analyses are multiplying regarding the possibility of any agreement in Yemen affecting the Lebanese arena. 
 
Some even return to the equation of Yemen in exchange for Lebanon, meaning that whoever benefits in Yemen must pay in Lebanon. This equation does not sit well with other parties, especially opposition forces.
 
Considering external developments as well, a meeting is scheduled to take place between French President Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis in Marseille on the twenty-third of September this year. 
 
According to the information available, Macron will insist on discussing the Lebanese issue with the Pope and will urge him to push for assistance, either with the Americans or with other forces.
Pope Francis has emphasized in previous meetings the necessity of holding Lebanese presidential elections and reshaping the authority. He has linked the issue of his visit to Lebanon with the election of the president.
 
Amidst all these expectations, the division continues regarding two interpretations. The first one considers that the phase of Sleiman Frangieh's nomination has come to an end, based on what Le Drian announced in his meetings. 
 
Therefore, there is a need to search for a new name, which would push Frangieh to withdraw. The second interpretation denies the first one, based on the assumption that the French change, if it happens, is not necessarily linked to a change within the Shiite duo, which will remain firm and committed to nominating the head of the Marada Movement and will not abandon him no matter what occurs.


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Lebanon

France

Le Drian

Qatar

Elections

Presidency

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