French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Tuesday against the spillover of Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza to Lebanon.
The spillover of the conflict into Lebanon “will have serious repercussions for the country,” Macron said in a letter to caretaker Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati on the occasion of Lebanon's Independence Day, which falls on November 22.
Macron stressed that the creation of appropriate conditions for the election of a Lebanese president and the formation of an operational government is an urgent issue, and that his personal representative, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is currently in Beirut, continues to work in this direction.
“France, given the historical relations that bind our two countries, is redoubling its efforts to strengthen the stability, security and independence of Lebanon. We have always supported these goals,” he said.
Macron added: “France recognizes that it has a unique responsibility towards your country, a responsibility that is reflected in particular by the role we play within the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces. No party should use Lebanese territory in a way contrary to its sovereign interests. Today we must avoid the worst. I therefore invite you to continue your efforts in this direction.”
The French President continued: “I had indicated to the Israeli Prime Minister, every time I communicated with him, all the attention we were paying to your country, and I had told him of my concern about the dangers of escalation and expansion of the conflict to Lebanon.”
In addition to this fundamental issue, Macron said it is urgent to stabilize Lebanese institutions. “The presidential vacuum that has persisted for more than a year is weighing heavily on the country's ability to emerge from the current crisis and avoid the deterioration of security related to the ongoing war in Gaza,” he stated.
“Without a president or an effective government, there is no possibility of breaking the security, social, economic and financial impasse that the Lebanese people are suffering from,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ludovic Pouille, said on his X account that Le Drian, had a “fruitful meeting” in Riyadh with the advisor within the General Secretariat of the Saudi Council of Ministers, Nizar Al-Aloula.
Pouille emphasized that Paris and Riyadh are working together for the stability and security of Lebanon, and to ensure that presidential elections are held as soon as possible.