Hollande to Suleiman: Lebanese Should Give Priority to Country's Interests
French President Francois Hollande stressed on Saturday his country's “full support” to Lebanon and its people, calling on them to put forward their country's interests above all else.
Hollande offered condolences to President Michel Suleiman over the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan on October 19 along with two others.
He expressed France's “solidarity with Lebanon and its people,” considering that the “murder aims at destabilizing the country and paralyzing its institutions.
Hollande called on the Lebanese in a letter handed over to Suleiman by French Minister of Francophone Affairs Yamina Benguigui “to place the interests of their country above all others to maintain stability.”
He reiterated his country's commitment to “stability, security, independence and sovereignty in Lebanon.”
The assassination of Hasan last week has raised fears about unrest in Lebanon, which is divided between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose country supervised its small neighbor for nearly 30 years.
The October 19 Ashrafiyeh bombing in Beirut that killed Hasan along with two others deepened the gap between the March 14 alliance and the March 8 camp.
Suleiman also discussed with Prime Minister Najib Miqati at the Baabda palace the latest local developments.
The president is carrying out consultations with rival political parties to convince them to resume the national dialogue.
The March 14-led opposition insists on the resignation of the government as a main condition for the resumption of the national dialogue and official activity with their foes, while the March 8 coalition rejects the formation of a new cabinet on allegations that there is no alternative for it.