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Hezbollah Ends Impasse with al-Rahi, Says No Differences in Positions

Hezbollah Ends Impasse with al-Rahi, Says No Differences in Positions

Tuesday, 3 January, 2023 - 06:30
Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi welcomes the Hezbollah delegation, headed by Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed, in Bkirki. (NNA)

Hezbollah ended on Monday the impasse with Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

Head of the party’s political council Sayyed Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed visited al-Rahi at Bkirki on the occasion of the holidays.

The two parties discussed political affairs, including the presidential vacuum. They did not, however, tackle differences between them, namely al-Rahi's call for Lebanon to remain neutral from regional affairs and for holding an international conference over the country.

No prominent member of Hezbollah had paid a visit to the seat of the Maronite Patriarchate, Bkirki, in nearly two years. Contacts between Hezbollah and Bkirki had, however, remained.

Hezbollah had rejected al-Rahi's call for Lebanon’s “active neutrality” and for holding the international conference.

The party is now keen on reviving ties with Bkirki because “a president cannot be elected without dialogue and agreement.”

Lebanon has been without a president since November when Michel Aoun’s term ended without parties agreeing on a successor. Several elections sessions have been held at parliament, but no candidate has secured enough votes to be declared the winner.

Bkirki has been calling for the election of a president through 86 votes of the 128-member legislature.

Speaking after meeting al-Rahi on Monday, Amin al-Sayyed said the patriarch had expressed his keenness on electing a president as soon as possible.

Parties are demanded to responsibly address the issue because Lebanon is experiencing “difficult circumstances” and the election of a president is a priority, he added.

He stressed that channels of communication between Bkirki and Hezbollah “are always open”, but circumstances, such as the coronavirus pandemic and others, had thwarted a meeting.

Moreover, Amin al-Sayyed underscored that there were no differences with al-Rahi, but the two sides “had exchanged views based on the keenness on electing a new president” who can carry out his duties towards Lebanon.

He added that the election was a “necessity and a priority above all else.”

Furthermore, he called for “real” and “serious” dialogue between parliamentary blocs so that an understanding can be reached over a president who enjoys consensus and enough popular support.

The new president should not be confrontational, he stated.

Amin al-Sayyed also backed parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s call to hold dialogue aimed at reaching an understanding over the new president who would be tasked with helping Lebanon out of its crises.

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