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French FM to visit Lebanon to prepare for international conference on political gridlock, says ambassador

BEIRUT | / NNA - May 17, 2016, 09h52
Photo: National News Agency

French Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, will visit Lebanon on May 27, to hold talks with the Lebanese parties and authorities aimed to prepare for an international conference with the hope of helping resolve the current constitutional and political crises in the country, French Ambassador in Beirut, Emmanuel Bonne, told reporters following a meeting with Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, on Monday.

The diplomat visited Bassil today to discuss Ayrault's imminent visit, with Bonne reiterating the necessity to reach political understanding "that would lead to the election of a president, the formation of a national unity government, and the election of a Parliament where all sides are effectively represented."

"Ayrault's visit will aim to work on the points that we have just mentioned. We do want to work to motivate the international community; then, we will see which formula to adopt in order to hold the sought conference," Bonne said.

"We also consider that it is necessary to [have] an international frame to facilitate the resolving of the crisis in Lebanon. It is true that this is the mission of the Lebanese, but the international community, for its part, must also do its best to preserve peace, security, and stability in this country," he added.

In response to a question about whether Ayrault would meet with Hezbollah, Bonne said it  depended on his schedule.

"As you know, we do have relations with Hezbollah, and we do speak with the party on many levels," he indicated.

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