Report: French Minister 'Confines' His Lebanon Meetings to Aoun, Berri
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is reportedly expected to limit his upcoming meetings in Lebanon with President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri, the Saudi Asharq el-Awsat newspaper reported on Monday.
Le Drian, expected to arrive Wednesday in Beirut, has “confined” his meetings to Aoun and Berri without any intention to meet other parties concerned with the formation of the government “mainly PM-designate Saad Hariri,” reported the daily.
Political sources in Lebanon concerned with forming the government, met the French move with “astonishment” and a “negative shock” in the absence of any French explanation to justify excluding the most important political components of Le Drian's meetings in Beirut, it added.
“It is up to him (Hariri) alone to choose the appropriate time to make the change without observing what others (Aoun) want, not to defend himself, but more importantly to put things on the right track in parallel with Le Drian’s communications,” said the sources.
They added that the stalled government formation can not be blamed on those who “support the French initiative by actions, not by words,” hinting at Hariri.
Asharq el-Awsat “prominent” sources in Paris, said Le Drian is carrying “three important” files to address in Lebanon, and that the United States of America and Britain are preparing joint sanctions on “corrupt” parties in Lebanon that are also hampering the government formation.