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BEIRUT: The gory attack Wednesday on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo came at critical time for France: Its traditional sway in the Middle East is steadily declining and more than ever its foreign policy marred by confusion.From the 1981 assassination in Beirut of French diplomat Louis Delmare, including the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, the 2006 war with Israel and more recently Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian war, Lebanon has always been the catalyst of Syrian-French relations.Speaking to The Daily Star, Malbrunot maintained that France wanted to be "at the right side of history" when the uprising in Syria erupted after it demonstrated "laxity" in dealing with the upheavals in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt partly due to the close ties French officials entertained with dictators in these countries.Now that France has become Syria's "No. 1 enemy" as the two authors contend, it would be difficult for Paris to go back on the intemperate policies it has maintained vis-a-vis Damascus for the past four years.
Italian minister hints military equipment may be sent Lebanon’s way
Paoli: Arms package to arrive in coming weeks
King Salman urges Lebanese to elect president
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