Report: French President, Saudi Crown Prince Discuss Overdue Lebanon Govt
French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke over the phone on the government stalemate in Lebanon before Macron’s press conference, RT international television reported Monday.
RT said that Macron and Salman discussed the cabinet deadlock, reportedly suggesting the name of ex-PM Saad Hariri as “a point of agreement” to lead the next cabinet, and “stressing the need to solve the Lebanese crisis.”
It said the French President “did not at all mention anything about his talks with Salman during his press conference" Sunday.
Meanwhile, Hariri announced that he is not a candidate for the PM post following the resignation of PM-designate Mustafa Adib.
Macron upped the pressure on Lebanon's leaders to form a government in the wake of the Beirut port blast, saying their lack of progress represented a "collective betrayal".
At a rare news conference devoted to Lebanon on Sunday, he launched an extraordinary diatribe against a Lebanese political elite who he said had looked to their own selfish interests rather than those of their country.
Political parties had pledged in early September, during a visit to Lebanon by Macron, to form within two weeks a cabinet of independent ministers tasked with ending the country's economic malaise.