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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

Lebanon: Hezbollah Delegation to Visit Bassil on Monday

Samir Geagea (LF media office)

Lebanon anticipates a meeting on Monday between a Hezbollah delegation and head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, after a dispute recently emerged between the two allies over the Lebanese presidential elections.

The Hezbollah delegation includes Political Advisor to Hezbollah's Secretary General Hussein Al-Khalil, and the party’s coordination and liaison officer Wafiq Safa.

The two men will meet with Bassil in Mirna Chalouhi (east Beirut), according to a report by Hezbollah’s mouthpiece, Al-Manar channel, and another report by the FPM’s mouthpiece OTV channel.

The meeting is the first of its kind after tension escalated between the two parties over the presidential file in light of Hezbollah’s insistence to support the candidacy of head of the Marada Movement Suleiman Franjieh.

The dispute between the two also revolves around Hezbollah ministers taking part in government sessions in spite of the FPM’s disapproval.

Currently, Hezbollah is seeking to reach a breakthrough in the faltering presidential file. The Shiite party wants an agreement on a new president.

Hezbollah’s MP Hassan Fadlallah on Sunday affirmed that the party is looking for solutions to solve the country’s internal crises, mainly the election of a President capable of rescuing the country.

He added that the current political balances, including Parliament’s composition, do not allow any team to bring in a president alone in the absence of dialogue and consensus.

Meanwhile, head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, said his party would never accept a “fait accompli” situation, and will continue to fight until a just and strong state is built.

He added that the LF will not submit to any pressure, affirming that the party has several political options to liberate the country from the power of Hezbollah and its allies.

“There is a need to bring in a reformist, sovereign president attentive to the national interest and who works on forming a sovereign and reformist government…and fight all kinds of corruption,” Geagea said.

The Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Kataeb Party and a number of independent MPs support the candidacy of MP Michel Moawad.

A member of the Democratic Gathering Bloc (PSP party), MP Wael Abu Faour, said on Sunday that the parties voting for Moawad are working on increasing the number of MPs supporting his candidacy to reach 65 votes.

In an interview with MTV channel, he said: “We need an understanding to come up with a president.”

Abu Farou added that the Lebanese should not wait for a solution from abroad to elect a President.

Also, the Amal Movement headed by Speaker Nabih Berri, believes that the only solution for the presidential deadlock is through an understanding among the parties.

On Sunday, member of Amal’s Development and Liberation parliamentary bloc, MP Ali Khreis, renewed the party’s commitment to dialogue as a way to reach the country's recovery and elect a president.

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