Reports: Hochstein to visit Beirut as Paris seeks to spare Lebanon war


U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein will arrive in Beirut on a previously unannounced visit and it seems that the trip is linked to the meetings on Lebanon that were held Friday at the Elysee Palace, prominent parliamentary sources said.

“It also comes against the backdrop of French President Emmanuel Macron’s continuation of his endeavor to spare Lebanon a broad war,” the sources told the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper in remarks published Tuesday.

Macron had stressed Monday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he wants to avoid “a deterioration of the situation in the Middle East,” the French presidency said.

Macron is also seeking a de-escalation on the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon, the Elysee added.

Diplomatic sources meanwhile told the daily that Hochstein’s expected visit is “in harmony with the French initiative.”

“The U.S. mediator will carry proposals that might contribute to defusing tensions in the south, including a settlement for the pending points in the land border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel,” the sources added.

“The meetings that the French president has held in Paris with caretaker PM Najib Mikat and Army chief General Joseph Aoun were the ‘last chance’ meetings,” the sources warned.

“Paris is seeking a settlement that would spare Lebanon war through UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army,” the sources added, noting that Paris would not have launched such an initiative “had it not received information that Israel is determined to enter into Rafah and to address the Lebanese problem related to the border area where Hezbollah’s weapons exist.”

Comments 1
Missing phillipo 23 April 2024, 16:20

What exactly will be the use of Mr. Hochstein visiting Beirut all the time that the Government of the Republic of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces refuse, or realise that they are unable, to establish their control over the full length of the border with Israel and either force the terrorists Hizballah to fulfill their once made promise to disarm itself, or at least force it to show that Lebanon complies with Resolution 1901 and withdraw to north of the Litani.