France/Syria/Lebanon/Middle East peace process
President Sarkozy today hosted Mr Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, for lunch.
This meeting, which falls within the framework of the close, friendly relations between France and Syria, provided an opportunity to talk about the situation in the Middle East and Franco-Syrian bilateral relations.
Among other things, the Head of State raised the situation in Lebanon, which he is following with concern because of the tensions over the activity of the Special Tribunal, set up by the United Nations Security Council. President Sarkozy reiterated France’s commitment to respecting the Tribunal’s mandate and independence. He also expressed the wish for the national unity government to be able to carry out its responsibilities effectively to serve Lebanon and all the Lebanese. Finally, President Sarkozy reiterated France’s commitment to Lebanon’s security through her continuous, significant participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
Noting with regret the continued impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, President Sarkozy considered that the debate he had called for on ways of proceeding was all the more necessary in order to adopt a more collective, concerted approach, the only one likely to break a deadlock which cannot go on any longer./.