Amal, Mustaqbal Hold Jumblat-Sponsored Talks, Parliament Term Not on Agenda

Dialogue between AMAL and al-Mustaqbal movements, which has kicked off following an initiative from Druze leader Walid Jumblat, did not tackle the issue of extending the parliament's term but rather Sunni-Shiite ties and the cabinet's work.

"The meeting between Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil (of AMAL) and Nader Hariri, head of ex-PM Saad Hariri's office, did not tackle the issue of extending parliament's term," Future TV quoted informed sources as saying.

"The talks between al-Mustaqbal and AMAL focused on two issues: the cabinet's work during this difficult period and Sunni-Shiite dialogue aimed at defusing tensions," the sources noted.

The TV network, a mouthpiece of Hariri, said al-Mustaqbal movement's stance is "clear and well-known and it supports holding elections on time."

Jumblat has said that he mediated to bring AMAL movement, which is led by Speaker Nabih Berri, and al-Mustaqbal movement closer.

A meeting was lately held between Speaker Nabih Berri's adviser Khalil and Nader Hariri, Jumblat told As Safir.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour, who is Jumblat's aide.

The PSP chief said in his remarks published on Wednesday that he made his initiative out of his conviction that “we can't resolve our problems and hold the presidential elections without dialogue.”

“Dialogue is necessary more than before … particularly after the attack of the Islamic State and the regional developments,” he told As Safir.

Berri confirmed the “political dialogue” between Amal and al-Mustaqbal.

The rapprochement is necessary to resolve the political deadlock, he said.

Lebanon has been without a president since May, when Michel Suleiman's six-year term ended with MPs unable to find a successor over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances on a compromise candidate.



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