| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

Is there an American initiative to end the post-French vacancy?

Prominent Western diplomatic sources do not consider that there is a difference of opinion or an American-French disagreement within or outside the Five-Year Committee regarding the Lebanese file. All that matters, and what was pointed out during the committee meeting on the sidelines of the opening of the work of the United Nations General Assembly, is that there is an international intention and a decisive desire to end the presidential vacancy in Lebanon.

France, according to the sources who explained to Sawt Beirut International, took the initiative, especially the one that was promoted through the role played by the presidential envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian, which was aimed at ending the vacancy. The French Ambassador to the United Nations spoke about this role during the meeting of the Five-Year Committee.

As for the representatives of other countries in the committee, especially the American ambassador to the United Nations, they asked her how long the French initiative would remain open and in place. In her opinion, a time limit must be set for it, because things cannot remain as they are now indefinitely. Aid to Lebanon will not be complete unless in light of an integrated political solution and reforms at all levels. Therefore, the presidential entitlement has priority in this context. Hence the importance of having a time limit for eligibility, and a time limit for the French initiative.

The committee did not issue a statement, as the general atmosphere that prevailed in the committee was that the Americans, with this position, made the French understand that their initiative had not succeeded, even if they did not say so directly, and even if they did not consider in front of them that the initiative might have failed, because so far it had not led to anything, while the parliamentary session in Lebanon ends at the end of September.

The sources reveal that the French ambassador to the United Nations was asked about her belief to what extent her country is capable of announcing a timetable to elect a president, under the initiative, but she did not answer. Therefore, the Americans believe that the French initiative has so far been unable to commit to anything at the level of the Lebanese presidency, and that the internal dialogue in Lebanon will not be useful, because it will not lead to the election of a president.

The questions raised by the sources in light of these facts: Did the Americans fire the coup de grace on the French initiative? Is there on the horizon a new initiative for the Americans to work on? What is the future of the Lebanese situation? Will it be left up to the international community? Or, on the contrary, the tragic political and economic conditions will make it necessary for countries to find a new initiative in light of the new data that has emerged on the American-Iranian line of the prisoner exchange deal and the lifting of the American embargo on six billion dollars to the Iranians. Then on the Saudi-Iranian line regarding the Yemeni issue, which leads to more solutions? Passing through sports through the Saudi-Iranian match on Tehran soil?


  • Sawt Beirut International