The French special envoy for Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian calls on Lebanese politicians to find a "third way" for the presidential election while the two opposing camps have no chance of imposing their candidate, and the country has been without a president for more than 10 months. "The vital prognosis of the Lebanese state itself is engaged," said President Emmanuel Macron's envoy in an interview with AFP, while the country is paralyzed by an institutional and political crisis.
It is important that the political actors put an end to this unbearable crisis for the Lebanese and try to find a compromise solution through a third way," he said. The two opposing camps, pro-Iranian Hezbollah and its allies on the one hand and their opponents on the other, have no chance of imposing their presidential candidate, he insists. "Neither can win. Neither solution can work," said the special envoy, referring to the respective candidates of the two camps, former minister Sleiman Frangie, close to Damascus, and economist Jihad Azour, an official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Faced with the "denial of reality" of Lebanese officials, the France, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, which are following the political process, are losing patience and threatening to review their financial support to Beirut, he warns. The five countries, which met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week in New York, "are totally united, deeply irritated and question the sustainability of their funding in Lebanon while political leaders indulge in irresponsibility," said Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, who has been trying since the end of June to unravel this inextricable situation, proposes to go back to Lebanon "in the coming weeks" to engage in a "short" sequence of consultation, "roughly a week", likely to lead to a solution. It will be a question of starting a very short phase of consultation, consultation with all the actors and then in the same sequence the meeting of Parliament, convened by the President of Parliament, which should be done by successive and open ballots in the manner of a conclave to reach a solution.