Macron, al-Rahi agree on 'need to elect president without delay'


French President Emmanuel Macron has stressed his support for the “efforts” that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is exerting to pull Lebanon out of the “political crisis,” calling on all forces in the country to elect a president “without delay.”

In a statement issued after a Paris meeting between Macron and al-Rahi, the French presidency said the two men “expressed their deep concerns over the crisis” in Lebanon and “the institutional paralysis that has been aggravated by the vacancy in the presidency since more than seven months.”

Accordingly, Macron and al-Rahi “agreed on then need to elect a president without delay,” the statement said.

Macron also underscored the “need” for Lebanon’s Christians to remain “at the heart of the Lebanese state’s confessional and institutional balance.”

The French leader also warned that the current “deadlock” in Lebanon represents an “obstacle” to reforms, “without which there can be no sustainable rise and stability in Lebanon.”

Sources close to the patriarch meanwhile said that the one-hour talks tackled “means to reconcile viewpoints” between the Lebanese parties.

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