Hollande, Obama Discuss Means to Prevent Lebanon from 'Descending into Civil War'

French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday he discussed the situation in Lebanon with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama during a visit to Washington, stressing the importance of preventing the country from “descending into civil war.”

“France has historic ties with Lebanon and we're supporting it as large numbers of refugees flee to it” from neighboring Syria, Hollande said at a joint press conference with Obama.

“We discussed means to support Lebanon for the sake of its unity and safety and to prevent it from descending into civil war,” Hollande added.

The French leader said he understands “the difficulties that Lebanon and Jordan are going through because of the refugee crisis.”

On Sunday, the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat said Obama and Hollande were likely to address “the extent to which Iran can take part in forming a new Lebanese government.”

They were also expected to discuss the extent to which it can take part in a “plan to protect Lebanon,” revealed French diplomatic sources.

Since his appointment in April, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam has failed to form a new cabinet due to the ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps.

The political forces are however leaning towards the formation of a government that grants eight ministers to each of the March 8 and 14 camps and centrists.

Disputes have emerged however over the distribution of portfolios.

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