Macron with French peacekeeping mission in Lebanon on Christmas eve
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to reach Lebanon on the 24th of December and spend Christmas Eve with the French peacekeeping mission in Southern Lebanon.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon's (UNIFIL) French peacekeepers and French President Emmanuel Macron will celebrate Christmas together in south Lebanon, a Lebanese source informed Sputnik.
According to the French Embassy in Beirut, the French president will land in Lebanon's capital city of Beirut on December 24 and will meet with interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri. Macron will next go to the country's south to spend Christmas alongside French UNIFIL soldiers.
Macron's trip to Lebanon is "symbolic and beyond any political agenda," the source added. On the other hand, the French president is set to discuss Lebanon during the next Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, which will take place in Jordan on December 20.
Macron, according to the source, intends to advocate for "the prompt election of Lebanon’s president and the formation of a government that will commit itself to carry out the necessary reforms and providing humanitarian assistance to the population."
French prosecutors search Macron's Renaissance party offices
French prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday that the headquarters of President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance party had been searched in an investigation into the use of consulting firms by the government since 2017.
The National Financial Prosecutors' Office indicated that the Paris offices of US consulting giant McKinsey were also searched on Tuesday, confirming a report in Le Parisien newspaper.
The use of consultants by Macron's government came under the spotlight in March after an inquiry by the French Senate concluded that public spending on them had more than doubled from 2018-2021 during the French President's first term.
"It's normal for the judiciary to investigate freely and independently to shed all the light on this subject," a Renaissance spokesperson, Loic Signor, told AFP.
Signor said the party remained at the prosecutors' disposal "to provide all useful information on the campaigns."
McKinsey also confirmed the search of its offices, saying it was "cooperating fully with the authorities."
Two probes have been underway since October, looking into possible false election campaign accounting, as well as possible favoritism and conspiracy.