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Mikati Urges France to Restore Ties with Bashar al-Assad

France is considering opening channels of communication with Assad through the UAE, according to Syria TV.
Assad France Mikati
Mikati Urges France to Restore Ties with Bashar al-Assad

A European diplomatic source informed Syria TV that Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who embarked on a surprise visit to Paris at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, held a meeting on Thursday evening with Nicolas Lerner, the head of French foreign intelligence. The discussions centred around pressing matters in southern Lebanon, the latest developments in the presidential file, as well as updates regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip and the wider Middle East region.

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During the meeting, Mikati reportedly advocated for the idea of France engaging in dialogue with the Syrian regime, emphasizing that any resolution in the Middle East inevitably involves engagement with “Assad’s Syria.” Mikati underscored Assad’s enduring influence on the regional landscape and suggested that cooperation with Syria could aid in addressing the protracted refugee crisis, which continues to impact several European nations along the Mediterranean. Mikati also hinted at the significance of President Bashar al-Assad’s restrained stance on the Gaza war and his non-involvement as an indicator of his willingness to engage with the Western world.

In response, Lerner acknowledged previous intelligence communications that had been active under his predecessor Bernard Emié but revealed that these channels had since ceased. He expressed consideration for establishing new communication channels, potentially through the UAE.

It is worth noting that Mikati has had a longstanding relationship with the Syrian regime and its economic elite. Previously, companies associated with Mikati had engaged in investments, particularly in telecommunications and construction. Lebanon’s rekindled ties with the regime approximately a year ago, during Mikati’s tenure, have led to ongoing coordination on various fronts, notably in the exchange of security information.

France maintains a firm stance against the Syrian regime and has actively participated in international efforts aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict. This engagement has taken shape through involvement in forums like the United Nations and through alliances with other nations opposed to Assad’s regime.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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