Naharnet

Report: British Envoy in Beirut, An ‘Initiative’ Likely to Help Lebanon

A British envoy arrived in Beirut on Monday to meet with senior Lebanese officials in light of the latest developments in the country.

Richard Moore, Director General for Political Affairs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office first met President Michel Aoun early morning.

He will also meet Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker PM Saad Hariri and a number of officials, European diplomatic sources told al-Jomhouria daily.

Britain has provided strong support to Lebanon in recent years in the military, technical and logistical fields and reinforcing land units and border regiments, especially the education and health sectors. “It is preparing to expand this initiative diplomatically and internationally, which is the first British move at this level,” said the daily.

The sources linked the visit to the results of the US-French-British tripartite meeting held in Paris last Tuesday as part of an international effort to help Lebanon.

The meeting was hosted by the French envoy to Beirut, Director of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry Christophe Farnaud, in the presence of his US and British counterparts respectively, David Schenker and Stephanie al-Qaq and Moore.

Last week France sent Farnaud to Lebanon where he held talks with all the political actors.

The sources said that Britain wants to expand and invest the Paris tripartite meeting and turn it to a direct British-French initiative to help Lebanon out of the current crisis with US support, to present it to the Atlantic Conference in Paris this at the end of the week.

Ongoing nationwide anti-government protests in Lebanon since October 17 have brought down the government, but a new government has yet to be formed.

Source: Naharnet


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