Lebanese President Michel Aoun stressed on Monday his commitment to the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the Lebanese crisis, even though it appears he will not call for parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister any time soon.
He made his remarks during a meeting with French Ambassador Bruno Foucher on a farewell visit to mark the end of his diplomatic missions in Lebanon.
Aoun thanked the ambassador for the efforts he made to strengthen the Lebanese-French relations and granted him the National Order of the Cedar.
Aoun regretted that Prime Minister-designate, Mustafa Adib, was unable to form the new government in line with the French initiative, especially regarding the reforms that are supposed to be implemented.
Adib quit after failing to line up a non-partisan cabinet, dealing a blow to the French plan aimed at rallying sectarian leaders to tackle the country's crisis. His efforts hit a snag when the Shiite Amal and Hezbollah groups insisted on naming Shiite ministers and appointing a Shiite figure as finance minister.
Meanwhile, presidential sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that no date has been set yet for the binding parliamentary consultations to name a new PM, describing the current phase as “a period for assessing the Adib experience and Macron’s recent statements” on Lebanon.
However, deputy parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli said Monday that Aoun should immediately set a date for consultations.
“It is not acceptable to place preconditions on anyone, whether when naming a premier or forming a government,” he added.
On Sunday, Macron slammed Hezbollah for obstructing the government formation efforts. He vowed that he will not give up on his initiative to save Lebanon from collapse, but added that he was "ashamed" of the Lebanese leaders who had “betrayed” their country and reneged on their commitments.