| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

What is the truth about American stance on presidential election?

Western diplomatic sources in Beirut wonder if the US administration has shifted its focus away from the Lebanese file, particularly the presidential issue, in the aftermath of the Saudi-Iranian agreement. Why is there no American envoy specifically coming to contribute with the countries and actors internally in directly addressing this file?

Therefore, according to sources cited by “Sawt Beirut International,” was informed by these sources, that the US administration still holds the preference for Army Commander General Joseph Aoun for the presidency. They are comfortable with him and consider him untainted by corruption, capable of uniting the Lebanese people. However, when will the Americans intervene to impose what they deem appropriate? Adding that their intervention is inevitable and may come at the last moment. However, the timing of this moment remains uncertain, as the Lebanese file will not be left unattended by the Americans.
However, the sources reveal that there are ideas circulating among US officials, especially within the White House, which are being leaked and may not necessarily represent the official US position. These ideas revolve around urging the Lebanese to elect candidate Sleiman Frangieh because it is considered better than leaving the presidency vacant. The vacancy should not persist as long as there is no consensus around a candidate among all Lebanese.

The American condition for Frangieh’s election is that the sovereign team obtains something in return. According to the sources, it appears that the Americans have not yet imposed their candidate, and what contributes to this trend, is that the regional dynamics are not “in favor of the Americans.” It seems that these dynamics are the ones dictating the Lebanese file, meaning that the priority of external issues affecting Lebanon remains tied to the repercussions of the Beijing agreement, or at least this is how the Americans view the course of events.

Consequently, there is no American readiness to engage in a battle for Lebanon at the current time.
Although, according to the sources, it is true that the US has a say in the matter, still, they will assess how to impose their will and whether they will do so or not. There might be circumstances that lead them to impose their candidate, or such circumstances may not arise, depending on the political realism in the region.

Therefore, before Washington imposes its candidate, the option of electing Frangieh remains with a condition attached to it, which is better than leaving the vacancy. Will the dual team obtains everything they desire, will they be willing to offer something in return?

  • Sawt Beirut International