Lebanon hasn’t yet decided on the delegation attending a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon hosted by France on Wednesday to mobilize assistance for the country.
Lebanese ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that France sent an invitation to Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Hani Chemaittelly, while French Ambassador to Beirut Bruno Foucher sent a copy of the same invitation to both President Michel Aoun and caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
However, there was confusion in Beirut on which official would head the Lebanese delegation to Paris.
The sources said that Chemaittelly was supposed to head the delegation. However, there were suggestions for caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil to assume that role.
“After Khalil apologized from attending the Paris meeting, contacts held among political parties suggested that Director-General of the presidency Antoine Choucair heads the delegation, which would include Chemaittelly, Ambassador Ghadi Khoury, Director of Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hazar Caracalla, economic advisor to the Prime Minister.”
Some figures also suggested the participation of Alain Bifani, Director-General of the Finance Ministry and Lebanon’s Ambassador to Paris Rami Adwan.
However, the sources asserted that there was no final decision on the matter.
France is scheduled to host a meeting of the ISG for Lebanon in an effort to send clear messages to the leaders of the country, which has seen a deteriorating political and economic crisis since anti-government protests erupted on Oct. 17.
The Group plans to call on Lebanese officials to swiftly form a new government in light of the difficult social, economic and financial situation.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian would deliver the opening speech while the ministry’s secretary general is expected to lead the discussions.
Wednesday’s meeting comes as Lebanon delayed parliamentary consultations to name a new Prime Minister till next Monday.