| 19 April 2024, Friday |

What will Le Drian do in Beirut this week?

International and regional attention is now focused on the renewed role that France will play in the election of a new president for Lebanon, following the failure of the parliament for the twelfth time to elect a president and the emergence of new alignments.

Well-informed diplomatic sources affirm to “Sawt Beirut International” that France’s actions this week, embodied by the presidential envoy for Lebanon, former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, indicate that France is not abandoning Lebanon to its crises, despite the numerous initiatives it has undertaken since August 4th explosion.
The sources also confirmed that Le Drian’s initial visit will be exploratory, aimed at assessing the presidential atmosphere and the stances of the parties and parliamentary blocs. He will then present a report on his findings and work on formulating a new proposal with President Emmanuel Macron. The French leadership does not want to present a plan similar to the previous one that was unsuccessful, and therefore France cannot afford to present a failed initiative that does not make a real breakthrough in the Lebanese crisis.

Le Drian is fully aware of the Lebanese situation from all its aspects, given his previous position. There is hope that through his experience in Lebanese affairs, he can bring together the Lebanese factions and unite them around a presidential candidate. This would put an end to the vacuum in the presidency, which has lasted for about eight months and has contributed to the worsening collapse of the country, raising French concerns about its impact on the security level.
And thus, the French approach aims to propose a balanced initiative that is accepted by all Lebanese parties, in coordination and cooperation with the member states of the International Quartet, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The summit held last Friday between President Macron and the Saudi Crown Prince, discussed the Lebanese file, among other regional issues. According to sources, it emphasized the need to expedite the election of a new Lebanese president who is widely accepted, free from corruption, and capable of initiating the economic and financial rescue process.
French diplomatic sources informed “Sawt Beirut International” that the prospects of France presenting a new and different initiative are just as likely as maintaining the previous one. Everything is possible, and there is a French openness to all ideas.

  • Sawt Beirut International