Naharnet

Hollande's Envoy in Beirut Soon over Presidential Crisis

French President Francois Hollande's envoy is expected to visit Beirut in the coming weeks in an effort to revive France's efforts to resolve the Lebanese presidential deadlock.

An Nahar daily on Thursday quoted ministerial sources as saying that the Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, Jean-François Girault, will visit Beirut at the end of the month or in early July.

Girault's trip, however, will be preceded by contacts with Tehran, Riyadh and the Vatican, said the sources.

The French diplomat last visited Beirut earlier this month. He held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and prominent party leaders.

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps have thwarted the elections.

Girault has been in shuttle diplomacy since last year, making trips to Riyadh, Tehran, Washington and the Vatican over the presidential crisis.


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