March 14 Officials Seek to Appease Geagea as Maarab 'Reconsiders' Ties

A minister from the March 14 alliance will visit Maarab in an attempt to shore up strained ties between the Lebanese Forces and al-Mustaqbal movement, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Thursday.

The daily said that the envoy, who was not named, would discuss with LF chief Samir Geagea the issues that were a source of contention between him and the rest of his allies in March 14.

Al-Joumhouria quoted an LF official as saying that Geagea was currently silent and adopting a wait and see approach after his allies decided to participate in the government of Prime Minister Tammam Salam.

Geagea had been adamant to stay out of the cabinet, saying he would not share power with Hizbullah.

He has also reportedly expressed dismay at the recent rapprochement between al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri and his foe Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun.

“Something happened lately and it provoked us,” the LF official told the newspaper. “We cannot overcome this yet we won't take a hasty stance from it.”

“We need to reconsider the past stage and the current issues,” the unidentified official said, adding “We will study the benefit of the continued alliance between us.”

An Nahar newspaper said that a meeting was held on Wednesday between al-Mustaqbal bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora, MP Marwan Hamadeh and several other lawmakers, in addition to March 14 general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid.

The talks came to complement a meeting held with Geagea on Tuesday and a telephone conversation held between him and Hariri, the daily said.

It quoted the sources of the conferees as saying that March 14 was united despite the different viewpoints on the government.

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