Report: France Efforts Pushing to 'Disarm' Hizbullah
Efforts have been made over the past three days to create a new atmosphere and resolve the crisis that emerged after PM Saad Hariri's resignation over “Iran's grip and Hizbullah's policies in Lebanon,” meanwhile France is exerting efforts towards Hizbullah's “disarmament,” media reports said on Wednesday.
The French diplomacy has taken these efforts and held contacts with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pushing towards disarming Hizbullah, al-Joumhouria daily reported.
Diplomatic sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the daily, said that French President Emanuel Macron made a contact with his Iranian counterpart, which was described as "positive, but the French side wants to ensure the position of the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution, Ali Khamenei, who holds the Iranian decision in the region,” they said.
The same sources said that the French ambassador in Tehran “was able to get acquainted with the real Iranian position that it does not interfere in Hzibullah's affairs and that the party is to decide the need to participate in the regional wars against terrorism or just the Lebanese arena against Israel.”
They added: "But the American side did not trust this Iranian position and considered it a means to waiver the responsibility from pressuring Hizbullah to withdraw, at least from Yemen, so that Saudi Arabia would be able to accept that Hariri rolls back his resignation.”
Even though Rouhani has described Hizbullah as a “very popular party in Lebanon whose weapons are only used in a defensive nature," France hoped that the party would abandon its weapons and abide by UN Security Council resolutions.
The French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman had said that "France's demands from Hizbullah are clear. In accordance with the relevant security council resolutions, we are waiting for Hizbullah to put down its weapons and act like a party which respects Lebanese sovereignty.
“We believe that Lebanon's stability requires Hizbullah to distance itself from tensions in the region," the spokeswoman added.
She stressed that France is working in that direction and said: “At this critical stage, we are continuing the dialogue with all the Lebanese parties and encouraging them to agree on the proper functioning of the state institutions, which is essential for the stability of Lebanon."