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Hariri Visits Cairo Before Returning to Beirut

Hariri Visits Cairo Before Returning to Beirut

Monday, 20 November, 2017 - 07:30
A worker is seen fixing a huge banner depicting Lebanon’s resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the southern city of Sidon, Lebanon, November 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri held meetings in Paris Sunday ahead of kicking off a visit to Egypt in the next coming hours, his last stop before landing in Beirut, from where he is expected to make political stances that draw the new phase of a settlement based on Lebanon’s policy of “disassociation” from regional conflicts.

“My concern is to benefit Lebanon from an overwhelming and trans-divisional national sentiment capable of producing real stability in the country,” Future television quoted Hariri as saying on Sunday.

The Prime Minister’s office said Hariri plans to visit Cairo on Tuesday for talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

At his house in Paris, Hariri held meetings with several officials, including MP Bahia Hariri and her son, Secretary General of the Future Movement Nader Hariri.

Sources close to the outgoing Prime Minister said that his Paris meetings were not pre-scheduled.

Commenting on reports about divisions inside Future Movement, the sources did not deny that there were some differences of opinion, especially in the last stage and during the settlement that led to the election of Michel Aoun as president.

“What happened during Hariri’s absence revealed rifts in the movement,” he said, ruling out a decision to disqualify some figures.

“What would happen is the rearrangement of several issues. Some officials should change their behavior” if they don’t want to be replaced, the sources said.

Commenting on the new settlement that Lebanese parties should work on, the sources reiterated their support to Hariri’s positions and his attachment to the conditions of the settlement, which stipulates that Lebanon and “Hezbollah” should stick to a policy of “disassociation” from regional conflicts.

In an interview with a local radio on Sunday, Free Patriotic Movement MP Walid Khoury said that it was impossible to implement Hariri’s new conditions.

“We need a regional settlement to reach a solution in Lebanon.”

However, Hezbollah’s exclusion and blacklist are out of the question, he added.

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