In an interview with BFMTV (France) on August 15, 2020, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said that he did not consider French President Emmanuel Macron's statements following the Beirut port blast to be an infringement upon Lebanon's sovereignty. When asked about a possible peace treaty with Israel, Aoun said "it depends." Then he explained that Israel occupies Lebanese land and the maritime boundaries must be determined.
Interviewer: "Don't you feel personally targeted by Emmanuel Macron's statements?"
President Michel Aoun: "No, because he knows me well."
Interviewer: "And when he says that when he returns on September 1, if the political class does not reach a new social pact, he will assume responsibility – don't you see these statements as interference? Some people said that this was an attack on your sovereignty."
Aoun: "The [Beirut blast] incident has taken global proportions, and he is working towards proper decision-making later with regard to this huge incident. I don’t think that this is interference, but an attempt to make sure that we take the correct measures."
Interviewer: "The President of France arrives two days after the explosion and will return on September 1, and this indicates friendship rather than interference in the politics and future of Lebanon? This does not indicate a French desire to determine the future of Lebanon?"
Aoun: "When someone comes to help, this is not a sign of interference in the affairs of others. He has the right to offer advice so that the measures will be correct."
Interviewer: "Is Lebanon ready to sign peace with Israel?"
Aoun: "It depends. We have problems that must be resolved with Israel."
Interviewer: "What does the [UAE-Israel] peace mean for you in Lebanon? How do you view it?"
Aoun: "[The UAE] is an independent country and has the right to do what it wants."
Interviewer: "What are the problems with Israel that needs to be resolved before a peace may be signed?"
Aoun: "There is Lebanese land occupied by Israel, and the maritime boundaries must be determined as well."