French President Emmanuel Macron gathered Tuesday evening with representatives of the country’s top nine political blocs in the second such talks since the blast disaster.
Representatives of Hizbullah, designated by the U.S. and European countries as a “terrorist” group, were among those meeting Macron.
The French president said this was necessary as Hizbullah is part of the Lebanese political system and excluding it “would be a mistake.”
Following the all-party meeting, Macron held separate, closed-door talks with each of the political leaders present at the Pine Residence in Beirut.
LBCI television said Macron held a 45-minute meeting with Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil.
The Macron-Bassil talks involved “a comprehensive discussion of the situation in Lebanon and of the French-Lebanese cooperation,” the TV network said.
Macron’s talks at the Pine Residence followed a meeting with President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri in Baabda and a lunch banquet attended by Berri, caretaker PM Hassan Diab, PM-designate Mustafa Adib, ex-PM Najib Miqati, Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli, caretaker ministers Charbel Wehbe and Hamad Hassan, and the heads of parliamentary blocs Jebran Bassil, Mohammed Raad, Hagop Pakradounian, Taymour Jumblat and Bahia Hariri.
It was also attended by the members of the accompanying French delegation, the members of the Lebanese parliament’s Lebanese-French Friendship Committee, the deans of the consular and diplomatic corps, the papal ambassador to Lebanon, the ambassadors of EU countries, the chiefs of security agencies, senior state employees and a number of Lebanese and French businessmen and economists.