Macron Determined to Help Lebanon

French President Emmanuel Macron receives caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati. (Dalati & Nohra)
French President Emmanuel Macron receives caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati. (Dalati & Nohra)
TT

Macron Determined to Help Lebanon

French President Emmanuel Macron receives caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati. (Dalati & Nohra)
French President Emmanuel Macron receives caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati. (Dalati & Nohra)

French President Emmanuel Macron has returned to taking a personal and direct interest in the Lebanese file, despite the many disappointments that his efforts have faced since 2020, following the August 2020 port explosion and the two successive visits he made to Lebanon, to try to put the country on the path to political and economic recovery.
During the extraordinary European summit that took place in Brussels earlier this week, Macron took advantage of a press conference to convey a set of messages and draw a “road map” for his new efforts towards Lebanon.
The talks that took place at the Elysée Palace on Friday, with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and with the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, followed by an expanded meeting attended by advisors from both sides, came to complete an understanding on the four files that the French president had raised from Brussels.
Those include the means to ensure security and stability in Lebanon, by finding a settlement to the ongoing “skirmish war” between Hezbollah and Israel in the South.
The second file deals with support for the Lebanese army. Macron said from Brussels that the European Council decided to provide enhanced assistance to the Lebanese army, which is intended to play a pivotal role, in cooperation with UNIFIL forces, in cooling the southern front and implementing the content of UNSC Resolution 1701 of 2006, which stipulates a zone free of weapons and militants between the Litani River and the international border.
The third file focuses on the means to support the Lebanese economy. The French president had previously presented an economic road map in 2020, and linked it to the reforms required by Lebanon to obtain international aid that was approved at the CEDRE conference in 2018. The pledges reached a record of $11 billion at the time, distributed between donations, loans and investments.
The last file revolved around the continued failure to elect a new president for the country. However, a source in the Elysee Palace said that the subject was “not the primary goal” of the discussions that took place on Friday, despite a French warning that the presidential vacuum exposes the country to dangers.

 

 

 



Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
TT

Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, the Iran-backed group's leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The group have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November, forcing shippers to re-route cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The group later expanded the scope of its attacks to the Indian Ocean and said it would also target any ships heading towards Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea.