Macron's message: Significance in timing and implications for Lebanon

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2023-11-29 | 01:56
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Macron's message: Significance in timing and implications for Lebanon
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Macron's message: Significance in timing and implications for Lebanon

The timing of the publication of French President Emmanuel Macron's message Tuesday evening addressed to the caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Independence Day carried a significant implication.

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa Al-Watan.
The message, published six days after the event, coincided with the arrival of his representative, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Beirut.

Some parliamentary sources with good relation with Paris mentioned that the initial evaluation of Macron's message and its timing suggests that the French President intended to give "utmost importance" to the discussions that Le Drian would have Wednesday with officials and political leaders, particularly with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi.

What did Macron's message contain?

The message stated, "Creating suitable conditions for the election of a president for the Lebanese Republic and the formation of a government is urgent, and his representative Jean-Yves Le Drian continues to work in this direction."

Macron added, "The extension of the conflict to Lebanon will have serious consequences for the country and the Lebanese people. France acknowledges its unique responsibility towards your country, a responsibility especially expressed through our role in the UN peacekeeping forces UNIFIL."

"No party should use Lebanese territory in a way that contradicts its sovereign interests. Today, we must avoid the worst. Therefore, I urge you to continue your efforts in this direction," he stressed.

Macron continued in his message, "I have consistently emphasized to the Israeli Prime Minister, every time I have communicated with him, the great importance we attach to your country. I have expressed my concern about the dangers of escalation and the extension of the conflict to Lebanon."

He emphasized the "urgent need to achieve stability in Lebanese institutions. The ongoing presidential vacuum for over a year weighs heavily on the country's ability to emerge from the current crisis and avoid the security deterioration associated with the ongoing war in Gaza."

He also said, "Without a president or an effective government, there is no possibility of escaping the security, social, economic, and financial deadlock primarily suffered by the Lebanese people."

In anticipation of his arrival in the Lebanese capital, Le Drian conducted talks in Riyadh with the Saudi Royal Court Advisor Nizar Al-Aloula, who is responsible for the Lebanon file in the Kingdom.

Furthermore, the French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ludovic Pouille, revealed details of a "fruitful meeting" between Le Drian and Al-Aloula.

He stated, "France and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are working hand in hand for the stability and security of Lebanon, ensuring the swift conduct of the Lebanese presidential elections."

In a related context, the situation on the southern border remained a focal point of attention.

Amid the ceasefire prevailing in that area, Hezbollah continued to follow up on the compensation file for damages, focusing on the government's role in this regard.

Deputy Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc, took charge of following up on the file.

After meeting with PM Mikati, he stated, "It's true that we in Hezbollah have started paying compensation, but this does not mean that the government is not concerned; it is indeed concerned."

Moreover, he noted that "damage was inflicted on 37 buildings, with 11 buildings suffering total fire damage."

He added, "Regarding the restoration, in our assessment so far, there are about 1,500 houses from Naqoura to Shebaa and Kfarshuba with varying degrees of damage and broken glass."
 

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