Suleiman, Hariri Discuss Dialogue but No Final Answer on His Participationإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman said he hasn’t pressured al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri to respond to him on an invitation for the National Dialogue at Baabda Palace set for June 11.
In remarks to As Safir daily published Saturday, Suleiman said: “I didn’t ask him to attend the dialogue session but discussions focused on the advantages and the disadvantages of the National Dialogue.”
Suleiman met with Hariri in Jeddah on Friday during a luncheon hosted by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. The president was in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah.
“I neither pressured him (to provide me) with a specific answer nor he provided it with a negative or positive answer, Suleiman said.
The president also told As Safir that he took the initiative to contact Hariri before heading to Saudi Arabia and the two agreed to meet during the luncheon.
“We shouldn’t forget that Hariri is the leader of a respectable Lebanese faction and we want everyone to return to Lebanon and contribute to the dynamics of dialogue,” he said.
The president hailed Hariri for playing an important role during the security incidents in the northern city of Tripoli and the area of Akkar and his efforts to secure the release of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims abducted in Syria.
Suleiman called for the National Dialogue after the incidents threatened to spiral out of control.
The March 8 coalition that makes up the majority of the cabinet said it would attend the all-party talks but the March 14 coalition, which al-Mustaqbal movement is part of, hasn’t yet announced an official stance on its participation.
But the alliance said earlier this month that dialogue should be held under a neutral salvation government and not Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet.