Aoun Runs Political Consultations in Wake of Hariri's Resignationإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Aoun held a series of meetings on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace with former presidents, premiers, speakers and other officials where discussions focused on the measures needed in the wake of PM Saad Hariri's shock resignation.
Sources from the Presidential Palace assured that no decision will be made before reviewing the reasons for Hariri's resignation, stressing that Aoun has assured that he is “waiting for PM Hariri's return to Beirut to inquire about the circumstances of the resignation and decide on the next steps.”
In the afternoon, Aoun met with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, the head of Hizbullah's Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad, Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel, Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh, Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan, the representatives of the Progressive Socialist Party Taimur Jumblat and Ghazi Aridi, and MP Hagop Pakradounian of the Tashnag Party.
Geagea declined to make a statement after the talks, saying he would comment on the developments in a Wednesday evening TV interview.
Taimur Jumblat for his part said "dialogue remains the basis for overcoming any challenge."
"We are visiting the president to stress our commitment to reaching a settlement under the ceiling of state institutions," Jumblat added.
Former President Michel Suleiman said after meeting Aoun earlier in the day: “The solution lies in national consensus that may produce a government of technocrats to run the upcoming parliamentary elections.”
Former Prime Minister Najib Miqati expressed optimism and stated: “President Aoun has explained to me why he is temporizing before taking any decision. I am optimistic and I trust the President's vision.”
For his part ex-PM Fouad Saniora urged for vigilance to address the “internal and external accumulated imbalances and return to non-alignment and neutrality and the restoration of the strong State.”
“PM Hariri will return and we will always stand by his side,” he emphasized.
The President has also received former president Emile Lahhoud, ex-Speaker Hussein al-Husseini. Ex-PM Tammam Salam could not attend due to travel reasons.
Aoun also met with Mustaqbal MP Bahia Hariri.
PM Hariri announced his shock resignation on Saturday in a broadcast from the Saudi capital, decrying what he called the "grip" of Hizbullah and Iran on Lebanon. He also said he feared for his life.
In the speech, he accused Iran of meddling in Arab affairs and Iran-backed Hizbullah of holding Lebanon hostage.
Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speculated on Sunday that Saudi Arabia had forced Hariri to resign amid the deepening Saudi-Iran rivalry.