Away from political life since the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was appointed by the president as "personal envoy for Lebanon". He will soon visit the country of the cedar to "facilitate" a "consensual and effective" solution to the serious political impasse that the country is going through, announced the Elysee on Wednesday.
Former Minister of Defense of François Hollande (2012-2017), before joining Emmanuel Macron to become his trusted man at the Quai d'Orsay (2017-2022), Jean-Yves Le Drian, 75, had taken the field with the political world since the last presidential election.
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Presented as a man with a solid experience in "crisis management", the former minister "plans to go to Lebanon very quickly", added an adviser to the head of state. The president asked him "to report back to him promptly on the situation."
The country is currently going through a double economic and political crisis and has not had a head of state for more than seven months because of political blockages in this complex system. No candidate succeeded Michel Aoun, whose presidential term expired on October 31. "The situation remains difficult in Lebanon," with the need to "get out of both the political crisis and economic and financial difficulties," said Jean-Yves Le Drian, recalling that Emmanuel Macron had personally "been very committed" to this issue.
The Lebanese parliament is convened on June 14 to try again to elect a president. But it is deeply divided between the camp of the pro-Iranian Shiite movement Hezbollah, which does not have the necessary majority to impose its candidate, former minister Sleiman Frangié, and its opponents, including Christian parties, also unable so far to impose the name of Michel Moawad. The latter withdrew his candidacy to support Jihad Azour, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund, who is not yet formally a candidate.
According to Paris, there is an urgent need to "gather a form of consensus" to allow the election of a president and also accelerate the implementation of "necessary reforms". "Since Parliament is convened, this deadline must be useful", "we must not waste any opportunity", pleaded the Elysee, noting the emergence of the two candidates, Sleiman Frangié and Jihad Azour. "Our line remains the same", namely that the way out of the crisis "requires more than an agreement on a name", added the French presidency.