French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault leaves the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris following the weekly Cabinet meeting on June 6, 2016. / AFP / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
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French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault arrives in Lebanon Monday on a two-day visit amid low expectations that his talks with senior officials will help defuse the presidential crisis, now in its third year.Officials on both sides of the political divide sounded pessimistic that Ayrault's trip, which comes nearly three months after French President Francois Hollande's visit to Lebanon, would be able to make any headway in the presidential stalemate. A source close to Hezbollah confirmed that Ayrault will meet with some party officials during his stay in Beirut to discuss, among other things, the presidential election and the implementation by Lebanese banks of a U.S. sanctions law targeting the party's finances.The source said he saw nothing new in Ayrault's visit with regard to the presidential crisis. Future Movement MP Ammar Houri said there was nothing new in the presidential crisis on the eve of Ayrault's visit, rejecting Hezbollah accusations that his movement was obstructing the election of a president.
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