Published: 2020-11-12 16:16
Last Updated: 2023-09-29 08:10
Thursday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, during his meeting with the advisor to the French President for the Near East, Patrick Dorrell, affirmed his country's committment to the Paris initiative aimed at extricating Lebanon from political paralysis and the cycle of economic collapse.
Dorrell arrived in Beirut Wednesday evening on a visit that will continue until tomorrow, Friday, interspersed with meetings with senior officials and prominent political forces, in a step that comes after the expiration of the second deadline granted by French President Emmanuel Macron to the Lebanese political class to form a government.
Aoun said during the meeting, according to what the Lebanese presidency announced, "We adhere to the French initiative in the interest of the country," considering that "the situation requires broad national consultation and broad consensus to form a government that can achieve the required tasks."
The French envoy also met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who was quoted by local media about his affirmation of the French initiative and the need to implement reforms, which the international community demands. He said, "The only entrance and exit to Lebanon's salvation is the achievement of today's government before tomorrow, and with specialist ministers."
In the afternoon, Dorrell is supposed to meet the head of the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc, Muhammad Raad.
Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is close to Hezbollah, Thursday quoted sources as saying that Dorrell's visit was "a final attempt to revive the French initiative and put pressure on political forces to speed up the formation of the government and start implementing reforms."
After the Beirut Port explosion August 4, Macron visited Beirut. Then he returned again in early September and announced an initiative that he said all political forces had agreed to, and stipulated the formation of a government within two weeks that would undertake reform according to a specific program, in return for financial assistance from the international community.
But the political forces failed to translate their pledges. September 27, Macron gave political forces a new deadline of "four to six weeks" to form a government.
On October 22, Aoun assigned the leader of the Future Movement, Saad Hariri, to form the government, but his efforts have so far not yielded any results, amid political divisions that have long obstructed and delayed the formation of governments in Lebanon.
It is not clear what happened to the international support conference for Lebanon, which Macron pledged to organize at the end of this month, if a new government does not see the light in the coming days.