The transmission of the Lebanese file from the hands of the team composed of advisors Patrick Durel, Emmanuel Bonne, the head of foreign intelligence Bernard Emié, and Pierre Dukan signifies the opening of a new chapter in dealing with the Lebanese file.
Since the August 4 explosion, this team has tried to establish an approach to handling the Lebanese file.
However, it is clear that they have failed to achieve the desired objectives, both from French and Lebanese perspectives. They have faced multiple setbacks, from President Macron’s promise to form a government at the time to the presidential election, where France attempted to support Sleiman Frangieh, who recently met with Patrick Durel at the Élysée Palace. Perhaps this path was behind the decision to remove the old team and assign Jean-Yves Le Drian with the Lebanese file.
It is common for Le Drian to engage in the Lebanese arena. He is well-versed in the chaos of domestic politics and knowledgeable about the role of international officials within it, having previously served as France’s Foreign Minister and Defense Minister.
Nonetheless, Macron’s move is noteworthy, as it comes just days after the Maronite Patriarch visits Paris, which some observers see as the beginning of a turning point in France’s performance in Lebanon.