BEIRUT: French Ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli said the formation of a consensus Cabinet was necessary given the ongoing turmoil in the region, after handing Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam a letter of solidarity from Paris.
“[Paoli] stressed on the importance of forming a consensus Cabinet capbable of bringing together the Lebanese and face the challenges amid ongoing regional developments and their repercussions, particularly the refugee issue,” Salam’s office said.
“The realization of a government is necessary in the current phase,” Paoli was quoted as saying.
The French envoy also handed Salam a letter of solidarity from Paris, in light of the recent car bombings that rocked the country in Beirut’s southern suburbs and north Lebanon.
“I gave [Salam] a letter of solidarity from France following all the tragedies in the country during this summer season, including [incidents in] Beirut and Tripoli,” Paoli said.
“We expressed our solidarity with Lebanon and the Lebanese and affirmed that France is on Lebanon’s side and supportive of Lebanese institutions,” he added.
He also voiced support to the Army and President Michel Sleiman "who is a symbol of the state and Lebanese unity."
Paoli also spoke about the Sept. 25 meeting in New York in which donor countries are expected to establish a fund for Lebanon to assist the country and its Syrian refugees.
“We are looking forward to Sept. 25, and the international meeting in New York to create a fund to support Lebanon," he said, "It is the fund that France hopes to establish with other countries, to guarantee aid from the international community to Lebanon's institutions and the Lebanese economy."