BEIRUT: French President Emanuel Macron threw his support behind Lebanon Friday, expressing hope that a new Cabinet would be formed shortly during his meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun.
During a meeting on the sidelines of the 17th Francophonie Summit, in Yerevan, Armenia, Macron said he "would definitely like for a government to be formed in Lebanon, especially because the parliamentary elections were held," according to a statement released by Aoun's office.
Talks centered on a bevy of issues, including the geopolitical landscape of the region and the ongoing Israeli threat, as Aoun reiterated that the formation of a new government in a "Lebanese issue."
France and Lebanon's strong bilateral relationship dates back decades, with the latest French intervention credited by some to have avoided a diplomatic standoff with Saudi Arabia after Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's abrupt resignation last year from Riyadh.
Hariri had submitted his resignation from Riyadh citing security concerns while claiming that his life was under threat.
With Lebanese officials calling for Hariri's return, Macron traveled to Saudi Arabia and held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman which he says was "part of France's diplomatic action."
Lebanese officials have been scrambling to form a national unity Cabinet ever since the conclusion of the parliamentary elections almost six months ago.
Hariri expressed optimism in resolving the crisis during his meeting with President Michel Aoun last week, setting a 10-day deadline to bridge the divide.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Hariri said "concessions have been made from across the political spectrum, including the FPM and LF."
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