Hariri, Jumblat Hold Talks in Paris

A long-awaited meeting between former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat was finally held on Friday evening in the French capital Paris.

The talks are the first between the two leaders in over a year, and they are expected to discuss the country's presidential deadlock.

Jumblat had delegated Health Minister Wael Abou Faour to the Moroccan city of Casablanca earlier this month to prepare for the talks with the former PM.

The PSP leader has repeatedly stressed that he will not endorse Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun or Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea for office.

He also rejected withdrawing the nomination of Democratic Gathering MP Henri Helou “in favor of the Central Bank chief or Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji.”

The PSP chief had met with former President Michel Suleiman over the presidential deadlock upon his arrival to the French capital on Wednesday.

Al-Jadeed television on Friday quoted Jumblat as saying that he considers that Aoun's remarks to Hariri to contain a “veiled threat.”

Aoun had said in a televised interview earlier this week that he will be able to guarantee Hariri's security if he returns to Lebanon, but only if the FPM leader took office.

Suleiman left office on May 25 without a successor to lead the state in the coming six years, as differences between the March 14 and the March 8 alliances prevented the election of a new president.

Parliament failed for the seventh time on Wednesday to elect a new head of state as the lack of quorum prevented holding the scheduled electoral session.



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