Girault Meets with March 14 Alliance, Not Holding Substantial Solution to Presidency Crisis

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Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry Jean-François Girault reportedly isn’t holding any plan to end the presidential stalemate, media reports said on Wednesday.

According to al-Joumhouria newspaper, Girault held a wide meeting on Tuesday evening with the representatives of the March 14 alliance.

Sources told the daily that the French diplomat “didn’t talk about any deadlines or a roadmap to elect a new head of state,” but “he was keen to stress the importance of being ready to benefit from any regional and international breakthrough.”

“His (Girault’s) tour aims at encouraging the Lebanese to take a bold initiative and elect a new president… as there is no solution but to make the election of a president a made in Lebanon matter,” the sources said.

The sources underlined the importance of the meeting that Girault will hold with Hizbullah international relations officer Ammar Moussawi.

The visiting French diplomat kicked off on Tuesday a two-day official visit to Lebanon. He so far met with Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, former President Michel Suleiman and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.

An Nahar newspaper reported that Girault informed Lebanese officials during his meetings a message from French President Francois Hollande stressing the importance “of aiding Lebanon and following up its crises.”

Girault’s visit comes in light of his country’s insistence to resolve the presidential deadlock in Lebanon and ease the tension.

Lebanon has been without a president since May when the term of 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-PM Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia.

Media reports said last week that the French official decided to suspend his endeavors to reach a breakthrough regarding the presidential stalemate in Lebanon unless new developments occur.

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

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