Geagea Says Hariri Won't Step Down, Laments Reported Assad Call

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea has stressed that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri will not step down from the mission of forming a new government, as he lamented a reported phone call between President Michel Aoun and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“PM-designate Saad Hariri will not be cornered and will not step down. If some believe that they can press him to step down they are mistaken,” Geagea said in an interview with MTV.

He also noted that there are no “foreign” obstacles hindering the Cabinet formation process, emphasizing that “the issue is domestic and revolving around the presence of the LF and the Progressive Socialist Party in the government.”

“I call on PM-designate Hariri to present a draft line-up to the president should things continue in the same manner, but I believe that it will not be accepted by President Aoun,” Geagea added.

The LF leader also said he does not endorse Aoun's claim that “the presidential race has started.”

“No one is trying to constrain (caretaker Foreign) Minister (Jebran) Bassil, but, quite to the contrary, he is the one trying to constrain others,” Geagea added.

Commenting on the reported call between Aoun and Assad, Geagea said: “I do not accept that President Aoun hold talks with Bashar al-Assad. This is unjustifiable and unnecessary.”

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