Macron Prepares “Near” Visit to Lebanon

Lebanon has been officially informed that French President Emmanuel Macron has included an official visit to Lebanon on his schedule at the invitation of President Michel Aoun, Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Monday.
While the date of the visit has yet to be determined, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to visit Beirut next month, said the daily.
Le Drian is reportedly expected to follow up on the requests submitted to Beirut as part of reforms to tap into more than $11 billion in grants and soft loans vowed at the Paris CEDRE conference, namely an integrated plan for the country’s ailing electricity sector, approving a state budget and fighting corruption.
A diplomatic source told the daily that “Drian will openly discuss with the Lebanese the CEDRE reforms and the expansion of bilateral relations.”
Macron’s much anticipated visit was delayed twice before. He was expected to visit Lebanon in mid February but French Ambassador to Lebanon Bruno Foucher announced then that it has been delayed until the second half of 2019.
The original visit was scheduled in April 2018 but delayed due to the delay in the government formation.

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