Chirac in Lebanon address critical issues
Syria-Lebanon-France, Politics, 6/1/1998
In a news conference he held in Beirut on Sunday, French President Jacques Chirac stressed a comprehensive solution is needed in the region: "it is unrealistic to think of establishing solid peace through chopping peace into small pieces," adding that peace should be comprehensive and having Syria and Lebanon together.
He expressed regret over Israel's non-abidance by reached agreements. He also said he regretted Israel's refusal of the US proposals as regards the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and described these American proposals as very realistic for Israel.
He stressed France's support for the continued peace process, adding that his country will not be subjected to the current status, rather will always support the peace process, and he said that Europe backs the US ideas for relaunching the peace process.
On France's readiness to send soldiers to south Lebanon if sides concerned ask for that, Chirac said if France is requested it will be ready. On his talks with Lebanese officials, President Chirac said, "We have discussed the peace process and the need to revive it, as well as the numerous and deeply-rooted bilateral relations."
President Chirac expressed pleasure over the visit to be made by Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to France stressing the firm relations between Syria and France. He added that his country hopes to have the best relations with Syria.
On Saturday, Lebanese President Elias Hrawi and President Chirac held talks. Following the talks between the two Presidents, French Presidency spokeswoman Catherine Colona announced that President Chirac is very concerned over the deadlocked Middle East peace process. She added that France has always been for the implementation of UN resolution 425, adding that France has never changed its stand in that this resolution must be unconditionally implemented. Colona noted that there is no way to amend this resolution.
Meanwhile, in his talks with Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri on Saturday, President Chirac said that Paris backed a UN resolution calling for an Israeli pullout from south Lebanon, Baseel Yared, Hariri's advisor told reporters. Chirac outlined the French position on UN resolutions 425 and its concern over the troubled Middle East peace process.
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