Hariri visits president Hollande in France
French President Francois Hollande, right, with former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri upon his arrival for a meeting at the Elysee Palace. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Emmanuel Bonne as an alert
Disable alert for Emmanuel Bonne,
Click here to add Francois Hollande as an alert
Disable alert for Francois Hollande,
Click here to add Free Patriotic Movement as an alert
Disable alert for Free Patriotic Movement,
Click here to add Future Movement as an alert
Disable alert for Future Movement,
Click here to add Hizballah as an alert
Disable alert for Hizballah,
Click here to add Kataeb Party as an alert
Disable alert for Kataeb Party,
Click here to add Lebanese Forces as an alert
Disable alert for Lebanese Forces,
Click here to add Marada Movement as an alert
Disable alert for Marada Movement,
Click here to add Michel Aoun as an alert
Disable alert for Michel Aoun,
Click here to add Moscow as an alert
Disable alert for Moscow,
Click here to add Nabih Berri as an alert
Disable alert for Nabih Berri,
Click here to add Paris as an alert
Disable alert for Paris,
Click here to add Rai as an alert
Disable alert for Rai,
Click here to add Saad Hariri as an alert
Disable alert for Saad Hariri,
Click here to add Sleiman Frangieh as an alert
Disable alert for Sleiman Frangieh,
Click here to add Walid Jumblatt as an alert
Disable alert for Walid Jumblatt
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri met with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday.
A statement issued by Hariri's press office said that the meeting will highlight the situation in Lebanon and the region but did not disclose further information.
Earlier in the day, French Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuel Bonne denied that his country is preparing to hold a conference on Lebanon that aims at ending its power vacuum that in May entered its third year.
Hariri’s visit to Paris followed a letter Hollande sent to Speaker Nabih Berri, in which he said that France is making efforts to resolve the presidential election crisis, which entered its third year this month with no end in sight.
The letter also came one day after Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai met with the French president in Paris to discuss the presidential vacuum and the Syrian refugee crisis. Rai is reported to have asked Hollande to intercede with Saudi Arabia and Iran, which wield great influence in Lebanon, to help break a deadlock between their allies in Parliament and quickly elect of a president.
Last week, Parliament failed for the 39th time in two years to convene to elect a president due to a lack of quorum, which prompted Berri to set a new session for June 2.
During his visit to Russia in March, Hariri said he had sought Moscow’s help in ending the presidential void.
In January Hariri nominated Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh of the rival March 8 camp in an effort to fill the vacuum in the country’s top Christian post.
However, the country's three main Christian parties -- The Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb Party -- rejected Hariri's nomination.
Frangieh is standing against Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun, who is backed by Hezbollah, some of its March 8 allies and the LF.
In addition to Hariri, Frangieh’s presidential bid is also supported by Berri, MP Walid Jumblatt and some independent lawmakers.
The Future Movement and its March 14 allies have repeatedly accused Hezbollah and the FPM of blocking the election of a president.
- France's Hollande demands "full halt" to Israeli settlement activity in first official visit to Ramallah
- Egypt anticipates more deals during French President Hollande's Cairo visit
- Egypt, France sign 18 MoUs during Hollande's visit
- French president Hollande visits Lebanon: Midde East tour
- The Middle East may Frown on Hollande's Out-of-Wed-Lock Relationship