Lebanon News

France clarifies stance after Nasrallah claim

Minister Gebran Bassil, left, receives French Ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli in Beirut, Monday, June 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

BEIRUT: French Ambassador Patrice Paoli Monday clarified his government’s position after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Paris had proposed a tripartite power sharing formula to replace the Taif Accord.

“We discussed various issues and I renewed the French government’s support for the Lebanese Constitution and Lebanese institutions,” Paoli told reporters after meeting Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

In a speech Friday, Nasrallah said France had first proposed the idea to Iran, arguing that the Taif Accord was no longer valid as a ruling system in Lebanon.

Nasrallah said the Iranians rejected the proposal, which called for replacing the current Muslim-Christian power-sharing system with a tripartite formula of Christian, Shiite and Sunni power.

“There are some questions about France’s stance and I have clarified matters to Minister Bassil,” Paoli said.

“I renewed France’s known stance,” he said when asked about Nasrallah’s tripartite power allegations.

Paoli stressed that Paris was the first to support the Lebanese Constitution and the Taif Accord.

“This is the message I had carried to Speaker Nabih Berri, and today I’m carrying the same message to [Bassil],” he said.

Paoli urged lawmakers to elect a new president based on the state’s Constitution after MPs botched a sixth voting attempt Monday





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