August 17, 2020 - 10:40 AMT
Lebanon President not ruling out peace talks with Israel

Lebanese President Michel Aoun dropped a bombshell statement on Saturday, August 15 night, telling French TV his country may be ready for peace with Israel, Asia Times reports.

Asked in an exclusive interview with France’s BFM television whether Lebanon was ready to make peace with Israel, he responded: “That depends. We have problems with Israel and we have to resolve them first.”

It was a shocking statement by a president whose rise has benefited from a more than decade-old alliance with Hezbollah, arguably the most powerful military force in the country.

Asked what he thought of the United Arab Emirates’ treaty concluded with Israel recently, Aoun responded that the UAE “is an independent country.”

That suggested Aoun would not be held back from negotiations by any pan-Arab considerations.

The implicit invitation for diplomacy came as a rising tide of high-profile figures in Lebanon have accused Israel of the attack on Beirut Port – and Hezbollah for allegedly storing its weapons there and exposing the capital as a target.

The explosion killed at least 178 people, with dozens still missing and thousands wounded.