Naharnet

Aoun Meets Swiss President, Urges Hariri to 'Take Initiative'

President Michel Aoun on Monday urged Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to “take the initiative” regarding the stalled Cabinet formation process.

“Pluralism creates problems during the formation process. We are listening to the demands and seeking to create consensus,” Aoun said at a joint press conference with visiting Swiss leader Alain Berset at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.

“PM-designate Hariri has explored all the demands and stances and he is the one who will form this government, whereas the president's jurisdiction it to approve and sign. That's why the PM-designate must take the initiative and begin forming the government,” Aoun added.

He also noted that the new government should properly reflect the representation of political parties.

“Lebanon welcomes the Russian initiative as for the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas in their country. I asked the Swiss president to support this step and to not link it to a political solution in Syria,” he added.

For his part, Berset said: “We are well aware of the challenges that have been facing Lebanon because of the war in Syria. We fully support this country as it faces a difficult phase.”

Berset, accompanied by his wife and heading a Swiss delegation, had arrived in Beirut on Sunday.

He is is expected to later hold talks with senior Lebanese officials during his official trip.

Media reports said the visit aims to strengthen relations at various levels between Lebanon and Switzerland's seven-member Federal Council, the country's executive branch, which Berset heads.

“It comes in the framework of preparations for a series of cooperation agreements between the two countries,” reports said.

Source: Naharnet


Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/249947