A leading expert in Lebanese-French affairs said Paris is still keen to help Lebanon form a new Cabinet, stressing that politicians need to get their act together to help achieve this task.
Tamam Nour El-Dine, who made these remarks in an interview with Eat News, responded to a question regarding information that Paris is still ready to host a meeting between various Lebanese politicians in a bid to break the deadlock.
“A striking paradox in the Lebanese crisis on the Paris – Beirut line shows diplomatic calm and silent action here.”
With these words, the French circles described the follow-up to the Lebanese file in Paris, in which the talk was circulating in Beirut, whose echoes reached Paris, and which deals with possible visits by Lebanese personalities to France, where these French circles express their great astonishment at the amount of “strange fabrications” that are far from the reality.
According to the expected visit of Gebran Basil, President of the Free Patriotic Movement, to the Elysee Palace, the French circles were amazed at how this issue was discussed in details of determining time (on Wednesday) and the place (the Elysee Palace) and the schedule of talks (bilateral with President Emmanuel Macron, which was expanded in the presence of the Prime Minister of Lebanon in charge of forming the government, Saad Hariri).
These circles revealed that information reached Paris about an idea that had come to MP Bassil’s mind during the past week, requiring him to visit Paris in his capacity as “a presidential delegate carrying a personal message from President Michel Aoun to his French counterpart Abdelnour said.
This capacity is the only one that gives him a protocol cover and opens the doors of the French presidency to him politically, especially receiving him from Macron, because Basil’s current status is “former deputy and minister,” and usually there is no official reception at this level.
As well as, Putting this gossips in the political and media circulation market by showing Bassil’s endeavor as an attempt to restore external consideration and internal flotation, which entailed Hariri’s refusal to meet the rapprochement efforts and his adherence to the equation of “President of the Republic Michel Aoun is the only concerned reference in the authoring process,” Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
Therefore, the French diplomacy organized an expanded Lebanese meeting on the model of the Ciel-Saint-Cloud dialogue meeting that took place in July 2007. This initiative falls within the French initiative framework that Macron launched last summer, as he talked about this issue with President Aoun and encouraged him to implement the provisions. The French industry urges the new government’s formation and the implementation of the program of necessary and urgent economic and financial reforms, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
And then work “with a cold mind and with calm consultation” to prepare for such a meeting to study the required political reform projects. These circles believe that the top priority should be given now to the issue of forming the government and initiating the process of economic and financial reforms to put an end to the state of collapse before it is too late. Otherwise, the new garment will not benefit him after his loss, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
Dangers of meltdowns
Paris’s repeated and urgent call for the formation of a new government accompanied by escalating warnings of the danger of faltering the political situation and the deterioration of the economic and financial conditions and their repercussions on Lebanese vital and structural areas society. France “watches with great concern the repercussions of the deep crises that cause collapses in the security, social, educational and cultural fields,” Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
According to the statistics that the French capital receives continuously, the rates of poverty, theft, suicide, and immigration (one Western embassy in Beirut recorded more than 130,000 immigration requests) exceeded all previous rates and recorded an unprecedented increase. From here, Paris came to sound the alarm, announcing that social security and civil stability were in grave danger, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
French and European pressure
French circles deplored how some political and partisan factions in Lebanon dealt with continuing to study means of increasing European and French pressure on the obstacles to forming a government, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
At a time when some Lebanese parties publicly showed underestimation and mockery of the ability of the French and European parties to go far in this process to the stage of imposing precautionary and legal measures towards it, they were secretly using all the available political, diplomatic, and even media channels to find out the seriousness of this French-European common will. And whether it is included on the list of target characters, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
These circles expressed their satisfaction with the Lebanese civil society’s reaction to this French and European approach, whether at the popular level or the level of active forces of activists, intellectuals, and sectors of free professions. They said that French political and parliamentary voices began to demand the French government to adopt a “firm stance” regarding the deterioration of Lebanon’s situation. Parallel to Paris’ pursuit of its efforts to coordinate cooperation with its European partners to put in place an implementation mechanism for pressure, the French capital confirmed that it had prepared, on its part, “practical proposals” against “those who deliberately obstruct” solving the crisis of forming the government, and clarifies that “these are well known!”, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
It also indicates that the situation can no longer tolerate waiting, and the next few days will be decisive. It seems that these circles encourage the Lebanese civil parties to file legal cases before the French courts, which can put their hands on the matter and take the necessary preventive measures, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
Regional dealing with the French move
Despite the attempts of France and the UAE to “open a door or a small window” to form the government, it was satisfied with a diplomatic response: “We are waiting for how the Lebanese government will be formed, its program and plan of action, and then “we determine our position on it independently of the person of its president,” Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
As for Tehran, preoccupied with Vienna’s consultations, direct and indirect, overt and covert contacts about the future implementation of the nuclear agreement, it seems that it is keeping a watchful eye on its regional expansion and is more than ever willing to be a partner in any settlement and is present through its allies. Its latest manifestation is the reported “security message” that arrived in Paris as part of tugging the ropes by brandishing the card’s use to open the Lebanese beaches to the influx of displaced Syrians towards the Mediterranean and European countries, Tamam Nour El-Dine said.
Responsibility for the fall of the structure
Despite all external factors and regional data, French circles believe that the ball is still in the court of three Lebanese parties (the President of the Republic, Basil; Hariri; the Shiite duo).
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