Aoun Promises 'Positive Developments' amid Progress in Govt. Talks

President Michel Aoun on Tuesday announced anew that “the coming days will carry positive developments,” as talks to name a new premier reportedly made major progress.

Aoun voiced his remarks during a meeting with a delegation from the Dialogue and Bridges group.

Al-Jadeed TV meanwhile reported that “an agreement has been reached on the broad lines of the upcoming techno-political government, pending the continuation of the consultations with Samir Khatib, whose nomination is still ongoing until the moment.”

And as media reports said Khatib had met with Aoun and Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil in Baabda on Tuesday morning, presidential palace sources denied that the meeting took place, saying such a meeting might be held after reaching “an agreement with the rest of politicians.”

MTV however insisted that the meeting took place, quoting sources who participated in the talks.

And as al-Jadeed said that Bassil is insisting on the energy portfolio and Speaker Nabih Berri is clinging to the finance portfolio, the TV network said Ali Hassan Khalil is expected to be in the new government but this time as a state minister.

The interior portfolio will meanwhile go to a technocrat figure close to caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, al-Jadeed said.

“The parliamentary consultations will likely be held on Thursday and this is hinging on the outcome of Bassil’s meeting with Khatib,” MTV reported.

MTV said General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim had accompanied Khatib to the Baabda Palace where they met with Aoun and Bassil, adding that “an agreement was reached at the end of the talks on holding another meeting between Khatib and Bassil.”

“The stance that Bassil will voice after the meeting of the Strong Lebanon bloc today will determine how things will move forward,” MTV said.

The TV network added that “Hariri has reportedly said that he is willing to publicly endorse Samir Khatib for the post but only after setting a date for the parliamentary consultations and this is the point of contention.”

Source: Naharnet

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