BEIRUT — French special envoy for Lebanon, Jean-Yves Le Drian, continued a series of meetings with Lebanese officials on Friday, sitting down with former presidential candidate Michel Moawad and with Kataeb MPs, the party's spokesperson Patrick Richa told L'Orient-Le Jour.
The envoy is in Lebanon to push for an end to the political stalemate, as the country reaches eight months with no president.
Le Drian reportedly met Friday with Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel and MPs Nadim Gemayel and Selim Sayegh. Their colleague Elias Hankache was absent for health reasons, according to Richa.
"Frank meeting with Jean-Yves Le Drian. We discussed the Kataeb approach to the presidential issue," tweeted Samy Gemayel after the meeting. "We also presented a plan for a solution based on the recovery of state sovereignty, the lifting of the imposed trusteeship and the implementation of the reforms required to get the people out of the crisis."
Since arriving in Beirut on Wednesday, Le Drian has already met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai, and Christian political leaders Samir Geagea (Lebanese Forces), Gebran Bassil (Free Patriotic Movement) and Sleiman Frangieh (Marada Movement). Frangieh is Hezbllah's preferred candidate for the presidency.
The French envoy said on Thursday in Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite Patriarchate, that he is currently on a "mission to listen and consult" with Lebanese leaders, to help the country "get out of the political stalemate immediately."
The visit comes after a 12th failed parliamentary session meant to elect a new president. The two main candidates are now Frangieh and Jihad Azour, an IMF official favored by the parliamentary opposition.
According to a French diplomatic source, Le Drian is scheduled to visit Lebanon again over the summer.