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PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron is trying on a new mantle: Mideast peacemaker. He's trying to defuse Lebanon's political crisis and preserve regional stability, by leveraging France's trade relations with rival players in the region and historical ties to its former protectorate.
It's a risky gambit, but Macron may be better placed than anyone right now to succeed.
Much will depend on what happens when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri comes to France and meets Macron on Saturday. That's assuming Hariri is allowed to leave Saudi Arabia, where he may or may not be held against his will since a bizarre resignation attempt that stunned Lebanon.
Macron says he invited Hariri and his family for a few days and wants him to return to Lebanon soon.