Jumblat Says Won't Visit Saudi Arabia, Describes Ties as 'Stiff'

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said he is likely to turn down Saudi Arabia's invitation to the Kingdom to restore an alliance between the March 14 camp components, adding that he had advised Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil to apologize to Speaker Nabih Berri over his remarks, al-Akhbar daily reported on Tuesday.

“I will not go to Saudi Arabia if an invitation was extended to me with the aim of restoring the March 14 alliance or for waging the elections in a united front,” he told the daily in an interview.

“I have not traveled before because I don’t want to be part of one axis against another and I will not do it today,” he added, describing his relations with Saudi Arabia as “stiff.”

Media reports claimed that Saudi Arabia plans to invite components of the March 14 camp to Riyadh in a bid to restore their “now-broken” alliance and encourage them into waging the upcoming parliamentary elections as a united front.

Jumblat said SA may blame him for remarks he made about what he described as “futile Saudi war in Yemen,” and the privatization of “Aramco oil firm”, as well as his position following the crisis of now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh.

However, the MP stressed: “I have not yet received an invitation in that regard, but the Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub has not visited me and I consider this an indicator,” he added.

On the “derogatory” remarks made by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil about Speaker Nabih Berri, Jumblat said he advised the minister to make a direct “apology to the Speaker.”

Source: Naharnet

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