Report: Gemayel Mulling Cabinet and Dialogue Boycott

Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel has reportedly warned that his party's representatives would suspend their participation in the cabinet if it failed to resolve the waste crisis this week.

“We will have to suspend our participation in the government if no solution was found to the garbage (crisis) this week,” a source in the March 14 alliance quoted Gemayel as saying.

The source told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat published Monday that the Kataeb will also have to take a stance from the dialogue that Speaker Nabih Berri has called for if no agreement was reached on the priority of electing a president.

The Kataeb's possible withdrawal from the dialogue would lead to its failure because Berri has said that he would suspend his initiative if any party other than the Lebanese Forces announced its boycott of the talks.

LF chief Samir Geagea said on Saturday that his party will not attend the dialogue, which he described as a “waste of time.”

The talks will be chaired by Berri on Wednesday as the country reels from the waste crisis that erupted following the closure of Lebanon's largest landfill in Naameh in July.

The failure of the government to find an alternative landfill for Beirut and Mount Lebanon led to huge anti-government protests. Civil society groups are planning a similar demonstration on Wednesday to protest the all-party talks.

Economy and Trade Minister Alain Hakim, a Kataeb official, was not optimistic on the cabinet's ability to resolve the waste crisis anytime soon.

He told al-Liwaa newspaper that Prime Minister Tammam Salam will not call for a session this week.



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