Saudi FM Rejects Candidacy of Aoun, Fears 'Hidden Intentions'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Saudi Arabia has reportedly rejected the nomination of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun for the presidency, expressing fear over his “hidden intentions.”
Informed Lebanese sources told As Safir newspaper published on Tuesday that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal informed local and foreign officials that he refuses to adopt the candidacy of Aoun.
“We cannot forget his history... A consensual character cannot be made in one day,” sources quoted al-Faisal as saying.
He voiced concern over Aoun's “hidden intentions regarding the Lebanese national pact if he was elected as a head of state,” stressing that a consensual president shouldn't be affiliated in either the March 8 or 14 alliances.
Aoun continuously said that he will not announce his candidacy for the presidency if there was no political consensus on him.
Sources, however, told the daily that al-Faisal's stance doesn't necessarily reflect the kingdom's stand as Saudi Arabia welcomes the rapprochement between al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri and Aoun.
For his part, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri said in comments published in al-Liwaa that the “kingdom doesn't interfere in a Lebanese local affair.”
“The Lebanese should act and we hope that a consensual president, who adopts the Baabda declaration and dissociation policy, would be elected.”
The diplomat continuously denied that his country is intervening in local Lebanese affairs, ruling out any contacts between Riyadh and Hariri regarding the presidential poll.