Lebanese President says he is open to peace talks with Israel
President Michel Aoun has now left the door open for discussions. This came in response to allegations that his ally, Hezbollah, has been stockpiling weapons at the port of Beirut.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun made a dramatic statement on Saturday evening. During an interview on French television, he affirmed that his country might be ready for peace with Israel.
In an exclusive interview with French TV station BFM, Aoun was asked whether Lebanon was ready to make peace with Israel, and he responded: “It depends. We have some problems with Israel and we have to solve them first.”
Shockingly, this was a statement from a president whose rise to power has been supported by an alliance with Hezbollah, arguably the most powerful military force in the country, for more than a decade.
In reply to a question about what he thought of the UAE’s treaty with Israel last Thursday, Aoun said the UAE “is an independent country”.
This response is a sign that Aoun would not be held back by pan-Arab considerations regarding negotiations with Israel.
The implicit call for diplomacy came from a rising wave of high-ranking figures in Lebanon who accused Israel of attacking the port of Beirut – and Hezbollah of allegedly stockpiling its weapons there and targeting the capital.
The explosion killed at least 178 people, including the wife of the Dutch ambassador, dozens are still missing and thousands are injured.