Lebanon’s caretaker keeps a close watch


francois_fillon_libanFrench Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said that Paris is keeping “a close watch” on the resumption of normal ties between Beyrouth and Damascus, Lebanon’s An-Nahar daily reported Thursday. 

The French prime minister made the remarks as he is expected to arrive here for a visit to Lebanon Thursday afternoon. 

Under French sponsorship, Lebanon and Syria have agreed last summer to establish diplomatic ties for the first time since their independence 60 years ago. 

Highlighting the importance of his coming visit to Lebanon, Fillon was quoted as saying it will be an opportunity to sign important agreements that would consolidate cooperation on all levels. 

“The French government has decided to dispatch a big part of its 2009 budget for military cooperation,” he said, stressing that France is not allied with one Lebanese group against the other, but “is the friend of all Lebanese.”

n.b. It’s a shame our Prime Minister does not speak french. Former Prime Minister Rafiq el-Hariri went to english school and AUB, and privately learnt french for years afterwards. FPM R. Hariri was a close freind of Former French President Jacques Chirac. All three spokesperson of Hezbollah speak french.

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