Sarkozy Adamant to Guarantee Lebanon’s Stability as Arab Officials Rush to Paris

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reportedly adamant to continue contacts with friendly Arab countries to guarantee Lebanon’s stability following the collapse of the government and signs that the March 8 forces would have the upper hand in forming the new cabinet.

Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted French sources as saying that “Sarkozy is determined to continue efforts along with Arab countries friendly to Paris (to guarantee) the stability of Lebanon.”

A French source also told the newspaper that Paris continues efforts to establish a “contact group” to solve the Lebanese crisis.

The daily said that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal is scheduled to meet with the Secretary-General of the French Presidency Claude Gueant at noon Saturday. Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al-Thani, is also expected to arrive in Paris, it said.

As for Sunday, the French capital is expected to witness the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

According to al-Hayat, Paris is seeking to hold a meeting between French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, Davutoglu, al-Faisal and Sheikh Hamad. The Arab leaders are also most likely to meet with Sarkozy and Gueant.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bernard Valero said Friday that the Lebanese crisis should be solved through dialogue and reiterated that Paris holds onto constitutional Lebanese institutions.

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