Waiting is mutual between Lebanon and abroad. The Lebanese forces are waiting for the first Paris meeting to discuss the Lebanese file. While the external forces are counting on the Lebanese to seize these efforts to work towards concluding a settlement that is compatible with the required path. In light of this waiting, the Lebanese are anticipating the movement that will follow the Paris meeting, and if there is a new step taken by one of the countries to put them in the air, and activate the political movement to provide the complementary elements for the settlement. While the external powers will wait to know how the Lebanese will embrace what comes out of the meeting and the possibility of identifying with it.
Berri and Franjieh
In this context, the local arena is witnessing some political movement that is still shy, dim, or even invisible or public. In addition to the initiative of the Maronite Patriarchate to gather Christian deputies, in contrast to the move taken by the Progressive Socialist Party, the political scenes are buzzing with communication between different and opposing forces, in order to draw a general framework for the settlement path. President Nabih Berri leads this communication with parties at home and abroad as well. Despite this communication, Berri, along with Hezbollah, still clings to the nomination of Suleiman Franjieh. Although they received indirect signals about the need to search for another candidate, the council’s firm position is to steadfastly support the nomination of the head of the Marada Movement, on the basis that there is no clear talk from abroad about Franjieh’s rejection or considering him as a candidate subject to the international veto.
But Franjieh himself – according to what follow-up sources say – does not want to enter the electoral session as a candidate on the basis of competition with another candidate, and its results are not guaranteed. And that if he were to compete for the vote with Army Commander Joseph Aoun, he would withdraw or not announce his candidacy. However, the sources add that the Shiite duo told Franjieh that there is no way to think about this matter at present, and it is still too early to talk about withdrawal.
In contrast to this atmosphere, there are those who indicate that Hezbollah tends to announce Franjieh as a single candidate, and there is no room for discussion about any other candidate. This talk is still subject to conflict, especially since data close to the party indicate that it does not give any priority over the priority of stability. Thus, if there is an external and internal agreement to achieve a settlement on balanced terms, then it is possible to respond to the issue.
Here it is necessary to link what is happening in the regional context, especially since after the Paris meeting, each country that participated in the meeting must complete the movement of its contacts and reconnaissance attempts of what can be achieved, bearing in mind that some indicators indicate that if some positive points are achieved or an intersection occurs Interests can be built upon, as this will lead to preparation for holding another meeting that may be at the same level, or may be at a higher level, as required by circumstances and data at the time. And if there is a need to hold a meeting at the level of a report, then this country will be ready for that.
According to what sources following the Paris meeting say, it was positive, and it touched on various Lebanese files, including the election of the president, the personality of the prime minister, and the mechanism for forming it, in addition to its program of action, which must gain the confidence of the international community, in addition to agreeing on a clear plan for reform.
The meeting lasted about 4 hours, while the information indicates that bilateral meetings were held between the participating delegations.
The information adds that the meeting refused to discuss the names, on the basis that this is the responsibility of the Lebanese. And if there is progress, then another meeting can be held at the level of foreign ministers. The information adds that the French delegation was the first to speak, opening the session by stressing the need to help solve the Lebanese crisis. Later, the Saudi delegation presented its vision, and the discussion was among what was mentioned in the New York tripartite statement, and the Kuwaiti initiative. The delegations agreed on these items, with a focus on the need to work for consensus in Lebanon.