President Michel Aoun held on Thursday a series of meetings with politicians and diplomats, in parallel with intensive activity witnessed in Dar al-Fatwa to discuss the Lebanese crisis resulting from the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Hariri's office announced that the resigned premier had conducted separate meetings in Riyadh with the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, François Gouyette, the head of the European Union mission in the Kingdom, Michel Serfon Dorso, US Charge d'Affaires in Riyadh Christopher Henzel and British Ambassador Simon Collis.
While Aoun is still refusing to deal with Hariri’s resignation as a matter of fact and to call for consultations to appoint a new prime minister, pending the return of Hariri to Beirut, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that he is expected to meet on Friday with Arab and foreign ambassadors and the international group for the support of Lebanon, to present his stance on the latest developments.
The Lebanese president received on Thursday Maronite Patriarch Bshara al-Raii, who is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Monday, and former Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
The two officials left without giving a statement. He also met with a delegation of economic organizations headed by former Minister Adnan Al-Qassar.
Sources told the Central News Agency (CNA) that Raii would spend one day in Riyadh, before heading to Rome to participate in pontifical councils. They added that he would meet with Hariri if the latter was in Riyadh.
During his meetings at the Baabda Palace, Aoun underlined the need to preserve national unity, pointing out that “measures taken to maintain security and financial stability continue and have achieved their objectives”.
He also stressed that the Lebanese leaders, in all their affiliations, have responded to his calls for calm and the strengthening of national unity.