Report: Aoun Calls Macron to ‘Justify’ Delay in Consultations
After postponing the binding consultations with members of parliament to name a new prime minister, President Michel Aoun reportedly held a telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron "justifying" the delay, the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat reported on Friday.
The daily said Aoun told Macron his move was aimed at getting a “broad Christian” backing for the candidate and ex-PM Saad Hariri.
But Aoun’s call did not “dispel” the French’s annoyance over the postponement of consultations, according to the newspaper.
Had it been held on Thursday as planned, the consultations would have ensured that political parties were still willing to abide by the French initiative towards Lebanon, it said.
“France was extremely disturbed by the ill-considered step that would plunge the country into a new round of political disputes, not only to float the initiative launched by President Emmanuel Macron, but to prevent Lebanon from disappearing,” political sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.
Aoun postponed the consultations to next Thursday because he was reportedly seeking the backing of the two largest Christian blocs in parliament, the Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement- a party founded by Aoun.
But LF leader Samir Geagea on Thursday renewed his call for organizing early parliamentary elections as a way out of the political crisis.