Naharnet

Arslan Supports Jumblat's Initiative: There Can Be No Substitute to Dialogue

Head of the Lebanese Democratic Party MP Talal Arslan voiced on Thursday his support of Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat's initiative aimed at persuading various political powers to return to the national dialogue.

He said: “The balanced and national position expressed by Jumblat is aimed at breaking the deadlock between the Lebanese factions through dialogue as there can be no substitute to the all-party talks.”

The MP made his remarks after holding talks with a PSP delegation headed by Transportation and Public Works Minister Ghazi al-Aridi.

“We support Jumblat's initiative because we are in great need of such proposals during these critical regional and international circumstances and their impact on Lebanon,” continued Arslan.

He hoped that all sides “would learn from past experiences and end the mentality of seeking regional or international capitals” to find solutions for local problems.

For his part, Aridi noted that the PSP and Arslan may differ on various issues, but they agree on national matters.

Asked if Jumblat's initiative may have been a failure, the minister replied: “Should we instead leave the country victim to its deep divisions and await internal strife?”

The initiative concerns all powers, he stressed.

Jumblat is seeking to convince political foes to attend a new round of national dialogue under President Michel Suleiman as an icebreaker by launching the initiative to steer the country away from “the ghost of strife.”

The next dialogue session is set for January 7.

The PSP delegation has so far met with Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier Najib Miqati, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel, Hizbullah MPs, Mustaqbal bloc MPs, Lebanese Forces leader Smair Geagea, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, and the Jamaa Islamiya.


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