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New Settlement Expected to Close Hariri’s Resignation File, Test Lebanon’s Dissociation Policy

New Settlement Expected to Close Hariri’s Resignation File, Test Lebanon’s Dissociation Policy

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 - 09:00
Lebanese President Michel Aoun (R) chats with Prime Minister Saad Hariri (C) as Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh (L) looks on during a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon June 14, 2017. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

The Lebanese government is finalizing a new statement that is expected to close the file of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation and stress the policy of dissociation from regional conflicts.

The government will convene in an extraordinary session and will issue a statement afterward, resuming the country’s normal political life. The most important development this week, however, will be Hariri’s participation as head of a ministerial delegation at the International Support Group meeting in Paris on Friday.

Sources in the prime minister’s office told Asharq al-Awsat that the new ministerial statement would focus on four main points, including dissociating Lebanon from Arab conflicts, preserving good relations with Arab countries, stopping harmful media campaigns and committing to the Taif Accord.

Presidential sources have confirmed that all parties, including Hezbollah, have approved the expected statement and gave Aoun the green light to proceed with this matter.

“Effectively, one can say that the new statement is a confirmation of the constants that were stated in the presidential oath speech and the ministerial statement,” the sources told Asharq al-Awsat.

As for the necessary guarantees to implement the new statement, the sources said: “The President of the Republic is the main guarantor, and those who announced their consent shall commit to the settlement and respect his speech at the political and practical levels.”

The Central News Agency quoted political sources as saying that France has stepped up its measures to end the crisis, as President Emmanuel Macron dispatched to Iran the head of France’s foreign intelligence service, Bernard Emie, who met with a number of Iranian officials and discussed with them the expected settlement, and the need to show Tehran’s approval and flexibility, paving the way for Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Arab conflict zones.

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