Macron says committed to containing Lebanon-Israel violence


French President Emmanuel Macron has told caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati that France would do "everything in its power" to stop violence spiralling between Lebanon and Israel, his office said.

Macron told Mikati in Paris that he would "continue to act for Lebanon's stability" to protect it from escalating tensions in the Middle East.

The region has been plunged into turmoil since October 7, when Hamas militants launched an attack that allegedly led to the deaths of 1,170 people in southern Israel according to Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,012 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, the territory's health ministry said on Friday.

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah has engaged in near-daily exchanges of fire with Israel since the war started.

There has also been a surge in violence involving Tehran-aligned groups in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

The specter of a regional war has only been accentuated in the past week following Iran's first direct attack on Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles, and reports of an Israeli retaliation.

Macron brought up France's participation in a U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon -- on Israel's northern border -- and "underlined everyone's responsibility towards it," his office added.

The French leader also discussed Lebanon's long-running political crisis. Mikati's government holds only limited powers.

Lebanese lawmakers have failed to designate a successor to former president Michel Aoun since October 2022 as parliament remains deadlocked between Hezbollah and its opponents.

Comments 3
Missing phillipo 20 April 2024, 14:15

The only way to do that is for him to tell the Lebanese leadership that they need to get LAF and UNIFIL to control the whole border with Israel and to get Hizballah to withdraw to north of the Litani. Nothing less than that will change the present situation for the better.

Thumb gebran_sons 20 April 2024, 23:59

THE STONE BUILDERS REJECTED HAS BECOME CORNERSTONE: Lebanon is key for permanent peace in the Middle East. No other country more important. It alone can make a difference between temporary ceasefire and permanent comprehensive peace, btw bottomless waste of money and regional golden age; btw balance of terror and socio-eco-political interdependency. Permanent peace only possible by deposing the evil trilogy: Hamas/Hizbollah/Netanyahu and rebuilding trust & economic integration that are only security for peace and 2-state solution. Lebanese army after mandate from Cedar Revolution II with Shia participation must disarm Hizbollah & Hamas, and Lock leaders up thus eliminating Iran’s tentacles & radicals breeding ground. Action coordinated with international plan to depose Netanyahu, demarcate borders, impose 2-state solution & Marshal-type aid package for Gaza/W Bank, Lebanon, Sinai & Jordan to insure prosperous economies, reconstruction & full employment.

Missing phillipo 21 April 2024, 12:58

Remember that in the late 1980's a peace agreement was drawn up between Lebanon and Israel. Unfortunately when it was brought back to Beirut the then Syrian occupiers tore it up. After the Syrians left no Lebanese government has decided that this agreement should be reinstated, Israel and Lebanon could have already been at peace for over 30 years.