Girault Briefs al-Rahi on Outcome of His 'Presidential' Tour

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Jean-François Girault, Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, held talks Monday in Rome with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi about the outcome of his latest Mideast tour, especially in relation with the presidential void in Lebanon.

Girault and al-Rahi also discussed means to end the presidential crisis, “the needed efforts that must be exerted in Lebanon and the role that must be played by the friendly countries, topped by the Holy See and France,” according to a statement issued by the Maronite Patriarchate's press office.

The statement said the meeting was also attended by Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Bishop Paul Gallagher and French Ambassador to the Holy See Bruno Joubert.

“The two parties agreed on the importance of preserving the major role of Lebanon, which represents a special example and an essential factor of stability in the Middle East through its unique system and Christian-Muslim coexistence,” Bkriki's statement added.

It underlined that “Lebanon is the only country in the region whose president is Christian.”

Girault had returned last Monday to Beirut to explore means to end the protracting presidential vacuum.

He reportedly expressed pessimism over the possibility of reaching any imminent breakthrough.

Lebanon has been without a president since May when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of his successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps have thwarted the elections.

Girault recently held talks in Riyadh, Tehran, Washington and the Vatican over the presidential crisis in Lebanon. He also met with al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia.

He last visited Lebanon in December, where he met during his two-day visit prominent Lebanese officials.


Comments 1
Thumb ex-fpm 09 February 2015, 23:09

It underlined that “Lebanon is the only country in the region whose president is Christian.”.... but is effectively elected by a shia militia.