Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Lebanon Awaits Outcome of Aoun’s Consultations with Political Blocs

Lebanon Awaits Outcome of Aoun’s Consultations with Political Blocs

Monday, 27 November, 2017 - 10:15
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun (L) meets with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon April 12, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters

Lebanese President Michel Aoun is expected to submit the outcome of his consultations with the different political parties to Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday evening, amid reports on a “positive atmosphere” surrounding the talks, which could pave the way for reactivating government’s work and resolving “unfinished matters,” including parliamentary elections.

Aoun will hold talks on Monday with political blocs and parties represented in the Cabinet, along with other political figures, to find a solution to the crisis that resulted from Hariri’s decision to resign earlier this month. Later in the evening, the president will meet separately with Speaker Nabih Berri and Hariri to update them on the results of his discussions.

In this regard, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that a “positive atmosphere” was prevailing over the ongoing negotiations, underlining the possibility to “reach an agreement between the different political parties to resolve the current crisis” and settle pending issues.

Before Hariri’s resignation announcement on Nov. 4, the ministerial committee in charge with implementing the new electoral law held a series of meetings to discuss the proposed amendments and send them to the Cabinet and then to Parliament for approval.

The government was also putting the final touches on the implementation decrees of the oil and gas extraction law and was about to launch talks over the 2018 General Budget Law, in order to adopt it by the beginning of the new year. However, those files remain subject to the results of the consultations conducted by Aoun this Monday.

Future Bloc MP Nabil De Freij said that Hariri would decide on the fate of his resignation following his meeting with Aoun, warning against the deterioration of the situation should the consultations fail to achieve concrete results.

In a radio interview, De Freij stressed that Lebanon was a small country and “must not interfere in the crises surrounding it”, calling for “reaching consensus over mechanisms to apply the principle of dissociation.”

For his part, Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohammed Raad expressed his hope that Aoun’s consultations would yield positively on the internal situation, adding that the president “has acted rationally and with exceptional wisdom to address this crisis.”

Editor Picks