Report: France, US, KSA inch closer to backing Franjieh

There is an “intersection” between the Shiite Duo and the West – represented in the French who are coordinating with the U.S. – over the election of Suleiman Franjieh as president, seeing as he does not represent any provocation to the international community, a media report said on Thursday.

“Some of them consider that the current period requires dialogue, not provocation, and also requires political balance in the Lebanese interior. Accordingly, Franjieh is nearly the only Maronite political figure who embodies this in its performance,” al-Joumhouria newspaper reported.

Sources informed on the ongoing domestic and external contacts and consultations meanwhile told the daily that “the United States and France are fully keen on involving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the process of agreeing on the new Lebanese president.”

The newspaper added that Riyadh is becoming more convinced of the equation calling for a March 8 president and a March 14 premier, noting that this is the result of the “direct French discussions” with the kingdom.

The informed sources also told the daily that this equation has made “significant progress behind the scenes of the presidential discussions, especially between France, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah.”

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