France Tells Lebanon Hezbollah to Back Off
After taking a hard stand calling out Israel for killing ladies and babies in Gaza, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Lebanon about the potential spillover of Israel’s war against Hamas. In a letter to Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, he said the conflict will have serious repercussions for the country.
Mid-October most Lebanese villages along the Israel-Lebanon border were in the crossfire. People moved to safe locations. Many took to an online petition to urge the Lebanese government to stay out of the war and not to get dragged in. They warned that Lebanon could be turned into yet another battleground by foreign powers for proxy wars.
France had also urged Hezbollah to exercise restraint to avoid opening a second front in the region. Macron said Lebanon, at all costs, should not slide into the war.
France – Lebanon Relations
France regards Lebanon are one its political partners. Paris has shown constant support for Lebanon at the UN for the resolutions to defend the country’s sovereignty. Moreover, France supports the stability, unity, independence and sovereignty of Lebanon.
The French president emphasized the creation of appropriate conditions for the election of a Lebanese president. He said the formation of an operational government is an urgent issue. “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.”
Macros added that France recognizes that it has a unique responsibility towards Lebanon. “This responsibility 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 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.”
France believes Lebanese institutions should be stabilized. “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.”
Macron warned that 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.
Lebanon is in its fourth year of a deep economic, political and social crisis.