Shoukry discusses Lebanese crises with French envoy

Ahram Online , Tuesday 13 Feb 2024

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned on Tuesday, in a meeting with the French envoy to Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian, that the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip will certainly undermine any opportunities for establishing stability in Lebanon and ending its persisting crises, including the presidential vacancy.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives the French President's Special Envoy to Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian in Cairo, 13 February 2024. Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


During the meeting with the French president's special envoy to Lebanon, Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s stance in this regard, which encourages Lebanese parties to choose their president and form a government capable of carrying out its responsibilities.

He also affirmed that Egypt is welcoming the recent steps taken to renew the commander of the Lebanese army and the commander of the internal security forces and appoint a chief of staff of the army, stressing the need to preserve Lebanon's constitutional framework.

Moreover, Shoukry praised the recent movements of the ambassadors of the five-nation group on Lebanon, which comprises Egypt, the US, France, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and their meeting with the Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to encourage Lebanese parties to dialogue and assume their relevant responsibilities.

He also stressed the importance of the five-nation group's role in seeking to resolve the presidential vacancy crisis in Lebanon, for helping the Lebanese people solve their political crises according to their will.

Meanwhile, the French envoy reviewed his efforts to communicate with the Lebanese parties to end the presidential crisis, praising cooperation with Egypt at all levels to contribute to resolving the tense political situation. 

He said he visited Lebanon four times and met all the influential figures. In all his meetings, he stressed that responsibility lies on the shoulders of Lebanese parties to end the current state of presidential vacancy.

Moreover, Le Drian said this continuous instability affects the interests of many countries, not just Lebanon. Thus, it must be taken seriously.

Lebanon endured a presidential vacuum since October 2022, as it grapples with a financial crisis dubbed by the World Bank as one of the worst in modern history, with a currency in free fall and soaring poverty rates.

War on Gaza

Shoukry and Le Drian's meeting touched on the dangerous developments in the Gaza Strip, which are affecting the Lebanese arena and increasing the complexity of the situation.

They reviewed the Egyptian efforts to calm the situation, in addition to France’s efforts and vision in this regard.

Shoukry emphasized Egypt’s assessment that only a security solution to the region’s problems is a deficient vision; there must be a comprehensive solution that begins with an immediate ceasefire in the strip.

Le Drian also stressed that his country considers itself a friend of the Arab countries and a supporter of the Palestinian cause, both in the European arena and on the international level.

Israel continues its brutal relentless attacks in the Gaza Strip, with overnight and early morning airstrikes on various parts of the strip, killing over 28,000 and wounding nearly 69,000.

Most of Gaza's 2.4 million people became internally displaced, facing near-starvation circumstances due to the persistent Israeli blockade on food and humanitarian aid delivery. 


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