AFP: France plans to send a special envoy to Iran to discuss “regional issues” including Lebanon and Israel’s right to exist, the foreign ministry said here Tuesday. PARIS, Jan 16, 2007 (AFP) – France plans to send a special envoy to Iran to discuss “regional issues” including Lebanon and Israel’s right to exist, the foreign ministry said here Tuesday.
The ministry was reacting to an article in Le Monde newspaper according to which French President Jacques Chirac wishes to “put out diplomatic feelers to Iran”.
According to Le Monde, Chirac “has decided to send a high-ranking envoy to Tehran to discuss the situation in Lebanon, where Hezbollah, supported by Iran, threatens the government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.”
Chirac is to host an international conference on Lebanon on January 25 in Paris.
“There are discussions underway concerning a possible envoy, but no definitive decision has been taken,” said foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei.
“The aim of any dialogue would be to restate our positions on regional issues,” he said, citing Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s right to exist.
Le Monde quoted aides to Chirac as saying that the aim was not to “engage with Tehran in a parallel discussion on the nuclear issue, which is a matter for the UN, and at the European level, for (EU foreign affairs chief) Javier Solana.”
“France remains in full solidarity with the international community (on the nuclear issue),” said Mattei.