| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Will France reformulate its presidential perspective?

It was remarkable the French position by appointing President Emmanuel Macron to former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as a special envoy to Lebanon, as he is scheduled to start his mission as soon as possible, as France found that producing a president without further delay required intensive mediation between parties at home and abroad.

Diplomatic data reveals that the Maronite Patriarch, Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi, was able, during his visit to France, to persuade Macron to moderate his enthusiasm for the candidate of the Shiite duo, Suleiman Franjieh.

In the data, the patriarch, who was accompanied on his visit to Paris by Bishop Boulos Matar, who is close to Paris, also played a role in this context, as the patriarch explained that Franjieh’s choice could not be accepted as long as all the Christian parties rejected him as president of the republic. Consequently, Paris will not be pressuring Franjieh in the way it worked during the last stage. Therefore, France considers it necessary to re-explore the elements of the next stage and how to bridge the views between the parties.

It is not yet clear whether France will encourage, through its new mediation, third names other than Franjieh and Jihad Azour, whom the Shiite duo considered a challenging candidate, just like the candidate Michel Moawad.

However, any insistence of the Shiite duo on Franjieh means that it prevents the presidential elections from taking place, and continues to obstruct the elections. However, the data says that going to a third candidate means that not one team has broken to the second, noting that the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, Representative Gebran Bassil, by choosing Azour, damaged his fortunes when Hezbollah responded to him this step by step by refusing to nominate Azour, and this response targeted Basil, especially if it also targeted the choice of the head of the “Lebanese Forces Party,” Samir Geagea.

Well-informed diplomatic sources say that, in Wednesday’s session of the Parliament scheduled to elect a president, attention is directed to the position of the Shiite duo’s deputies, and the sources indicate that it was the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt who took the initiative to nominate Azour for the presidency, in addition to the names of Salah Hanin and the army commander, General Joseph Aoun, and he was ahead of other proposals announced by some parties, about seven months ago, in this field.

The “Socialist Party” will vote alongside Azour, and thus Azour has become a “serious” candidate because of the support of the Druze leader and his son Timur for him. But in any case, the French will not leave the Lebanese file alone after floundering in the fate of their initiatives. Indeed, there is a determination from Paris to increase its efforts In order not to prolong the vacuum in the first presidency.



  • Sawt Beirut International