News / Middle East

French President Visits Lebanon Amidst Turmoil

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, second left, and French President Francois Hollande, second right, review honor guards, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, November 4, 2012.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, second left, and French President Francois Hollande, second right, review honor guards, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, November 4, 2012.
Paige Kollock
— French President Francois Hollande has expressed support for Lebanon stability during a Beirut meeting with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman.  The  visit came at a time of increased instability in Lebanon and fears of a spillover from the war in Syria. 

Francois Hollande made his first trip to Lebanon as France's president Sunday.  The visit was a short one, touching down for three hours to have breakfast with Suleiman before travelling to Saudi Arabia.

It comes after Lebanon’s “March 14” coalition, which opposes Syrian involvement in Lebanese affairs, announced plans to boycott the government and called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to resign.  The political turmoil follows a car bomb attack which killed a senior Lebanese intelligence official and several other people in Beirut on October 19.

Hollande spoke of the attack during a joint news conference. He says he has come at a decisive moment after the assassination of a wonderful person, Wissam al-Hassan, and says he wants to voice solidarity with the Lebanese people.

The March 14 coalition and its allies accuse the Mikati government of complicity with Syrian authorities in orchestrating the attack.

A top U.S. official, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones, recently visited Lebanon, also calling for stability and dialogue among all Lebanese parties.

Suleiman, who has dismissed calls for Mikati’s resignation and has organized talks between the rival factions, called for unity.

He urges everyone to overcome this incident and work together through dialogue and cooperation to prevent future crises... particularly in light of the tension and bloodshed in neighboring Syria. 

The French president also agreed to help Lebanon deal with an overwhelming number of Syrian refugees, now about 100,000, and promised to help protect Lebanon from the crisis in Syria.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
November 04, 2012 9:34 AM
Monsieur Suleiman should not be pointed out for complicity because it would require preconditions to have been in place for any valid evidence that the car bomb originated outside the region

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid