Baabda 'National Unity' Talks Begin
A “national unity” meeting in Baabda kicked off on Thursday in the presence of the Lebanese government and its internal allies, and the boycott of opposition parties, as protesters gathered on the road to the Presidential Palace chanting slogans against the ruling authority.
The meeting, which came at the request of President Michel Aoun, meant to safeguard “civil peace,” was boycotted by leaders of the Christian parties opposed to the presidential term including the Lebanese Forces, Kataeb, Marada.
Former President Emile Lahhoud also decided not to attend.
Former PMs Saad Hariri, Najib Miqati, Fouad Seniora and Tammam Salam all boycotted the meeting.
The attendees include former President Michel Suleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, PM Hassan Diab, Deputy Parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli, PSP leader Walid Jumblat represented by his son Taymour Jumblat, FPM chief MP Jebran Bassil, head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc Mohammed Raad, Lebanese Democratic Party chief Talal Arslan, Head of the Tashnag party Hagop Pakradounian, Consultative Gathering bloc MP Faysal Karami, Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party MP Asaad Hardan.
A tripartite meeting between Aoun, Berri and Diab preceded the meeting.
In response to a question, Speaker Berri renewed calls for the immediate declaration of a state of financial emergency in Lebanon.