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BEIRUT: Tuesday, at the request of President Emmanuel Macron, the Ambassador of France to Lebanon Anne Griot informed the Lebanese President Michel Aoun of the tour of the Gulf of Macron, in particular his visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who “expressed its commitment to help Lebanon, underlining the need to implement the commitments that have been made, ”as stated by the media office of the Lebanese presidency.

During the interview, Griot underlined that “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are ready to take the necessary steps, and that for its part, Lebanon should undertake what is asked of it and prove its credibility in its commitment to reforms, including structural reforms. which require new working tools to face the deep crisis.

The meeting held last Saturday in Jeddah between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Macron saw the publication of a statement regarding Lebanon, in which the two men stressed the “need (for) the Lebanese government to undertake comprehensive reforms “.

The two sides also stressed the “need to limit the possession of weapons to legitimate state institutions”, and that “Lebanon should not be used as a base for terrorist acts which destabilize the security and stability of the region, or a base for drug trafficking ”, further stressing“ the importance of strengthening the role of the Lebanese army in maintaining the security and stability of Lebanon ”.

The couple had made a joint phone call during the meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

In his talks with Aoun, Griot stressed the importance given by the international community and France to the legislative, municipal and presidential elections scheduled for next year.

In response to the Saudi-French statement, on behalf of Hezbollah, former minister Mohammed Fneish said on Tuesday that the group “will not replace (…) the symbol of our dignity and freedom with the bare minimum of conditions of life.

“The attempts to make us give up the resistance and its weapons in exchange for solving the economic crisis is something unacceptable to us,” he added.

BACKGROUND

The meeting held last Saturday in Jeddah between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Macron saw the publication of a statement regarding Lebanon, in which the two men stressed the “need (for) the Lebanese government to undertake comprehensive reforms “.

Cabinet sessions have been suspended since October 12 due to Hezbollah’s stubbornness in investigating the Beirut port explosion. Forensic investigator Tariq Bitar is accused by the group of bias against him, according to its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.

On Tuesday, the Beirut Civil Court of Appeal, chaired by Judge Randa Harrouq, dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Minister Youssef Fenianos against Bitar “for lack of qualitative competence”.

Harrouq decided “to impose a fine of 800,000 Lebanese pounds ($ 530) on the plaintiff and to inform Judge Bitar of the content of the decision, which implies that he continues his investigations related to the blast file. Port of Beirut ”.

A judicial source told Arab News that the defendants have exhausted all the steps that could be taken with the Court of Appeal, and that they could resort to the Court of Cassation to obstruct the questioning of 4 more former ministers of former Prime Minister Hassan Diab. .

Bitar has yet to initiate any charges despite the fact that almost 16 months have passed since the disaster.

According to another judicial source, Bitar has rejected any attempt to withdraw the case from him and send ministers and the prime minister to a tribunal that would be formed by parliament to try presidents and ministers, a request made by Hezbollah and the government. Amal movement. .

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