| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

Lebanese presidency subject to southern front outcome

The 7th of October of this year marked a pivotal moment in the Middle East, now perched on a delicate edge across multiple fronts. The spark ignited from Gaza and its surroundings, propelling international players, led by the United States, to sail towards the waters of the Middle East, straits, and passages in the Arabian Gulf, deploying battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines.

Observing the blazing scene originating from Gaza and transformed into an unquenchable inferno, it has claimed lives, both human and structural, displacing over a million Palestinians from the north to the south of the strip, which hasn’t been spared from Israeli fires. This ignited the northern front of the occupied Palestinian territories on the second day of the operation carried out by Hamas within the Gaza Strip perimeter. Lebanon has become a participant in the confrontation with the Israeli army, along the border separating it from the occupied Palestine.”

“These clashes, escalating after the Israeli army expanded its airstrikes in a clear breach of the Blue Line, have cast a shadow on Lebanon’s internal situation, fostering an atmosphere of anticipation and fear of widened bombardment that might encompass the entire Lebanese territory. Lebanon is experiencing an economic collapse and lacks the capacity to withstand Israel’s destructive military machine amidst the absence of the state’s basic infrastructure, primarily due to the void that struck most institutions, notably the presidency.

These events have cast their shadows on the political conflict within the Lebanese domestic scene and the external efforts led by France, bolstered by the Quint Committee, which failed to produce consensus between the resistance faction and the sovereign faction on a candidate capable of reinstating the presidency and the supreme commander of its armed forces. The deadline has entered a critical phase that cannot be resolved unless the scene in Gaza and other arenas crystallizes, according to a vigilant source monitoring the ongoing events in the occupied Palestinian territories and other fronts.”

“The source further adds that reviving hopes regarding the presidential file’s status in discussions came through the French Ambassador Hervé Magro during his meeting with the Lebanese-French Parliamentary Friendship Committee. Magro revealed an upcoming fourth visit planned by the French envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian to Lebanon, focusing on the presidential matter. This move follows President Emmanuel Macron’s administration distancing itself from the Lebanese arena due to the escalation in Gaza and its support for Israel, which severed communication with Hezbollah. This could negatively impact the agreement previously in place between the French administration and the Resistance Axis regarding the candidacy of former minister Suleiman Frangieh. Although there has been a subsequent retreat, it has not shifted to the other side. However, the events in Gaza might lead to significant changes in the relationship between the two parties. Yet, it’s certain that the anticipated visit by the French envoy won’t yield any breakthrough unless the situation in Gaza unfolds.”

  • Sawt Beirut International