In Beruit, French President Francois Hollande stated that they would protect Lebanon against threats of destabilization caused by the fallout of the bloody conflict in neighboring Syria. He also praised President Michel Sleiman’s efforts to preserve national unity.
President Hollande stated,” Because Lebanon should be capable of preserving its unity, stability and safety, France will spare no effort to guarantee Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and unity.” He continued with, “I want to remind again those who may have any interest in destabilizing Lebanon that France will strongly and with all its strength oppose this. Lebanon constitutes an example of unity. It has recently gone through many difficulties and it must be protected.”
The French President wants to stress that even thought Lebanon is neighbors of Syria, Lebanon should not be the victim of turmoil. He claims that everything should be done to protect Lebanon and that this is the French stance on the matter. He also added that France is ready to support the Lebanese security forces, mainly the Lebanese army, and supply them with arms and equipment to help them protect democracy, civil peace, and fight terrorism.
These remarks came after more than two weeks since the assassination of police intelligence chief Brig Gen. Wissam al-Hassan. His assassination triggered clashes in Beirut and in the North between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad. This may be one of the reasons for the French Presidents words and is viewed as a display of support for Sleiman’s efforts to preserve stability in the face of security threats following tensions linked to Hasan’s assassination.
For his part, Sleiman, who has launched consultations with rival leaders to resolve the government crisis, renewed his call for National Dialogue. He said he reaffirmed to Hollande “Lebanon’s commitment to avoid the negative repercussions” of the turmoil in Syria. Sleiman said he briefed Hollande on his ongoing consultations with rival parties to find a solution “to end the state of tension and anxiety” arising from Hasan’s assassination. He said Lebanon has overcome the threat of instability following Hasan’s killing.
This dialogue displayed in Lebanon is great news because it shows international support in the Middle East. This can hopefully lead to more dialogue with every country. It seems that there is a lot of support for Lebanon in this confusing time.