Aoun Says Mockingly that Fighting is Alternative to Dialogueإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun announced on Sunday readiness to meet with his foes to find a solution to Lebanon's political crisis, saying mockingly that fighting is the alternative to dialogue among bickering politicians.
“I am ready to meet with anyone to find a solution” to the political crisis, Aoun said following talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.
“The solution doesn’t come through the boycott of dialogue,” he told reporters at the seat of the Maronite church. "Not holding dialogue is a crime against the nation."
Asked what was the alternative to dialogue, he quipped by saying “fighting.”
The head of the Change and Reform bloc was referring to the opposition's boycott of the national dialogue called for by President Michel Suleiman at Baabda Palace on January 7.
Several opposition March 14 alliance leaders reiterated in the past week that they would not attend the talks in the presence of Hizbullah.
Their conditions further exacerbated the efforts of Suleiman to bring the rival parties together when al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc chief Fouad Saniora said March 14 will return to the national dialogue once Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announces his readiness to discuss putting his party's arms under the authority of the Lebanese state.
Asked by reporters if he was ready to meet with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, a centrist, Aoun said: “If there is a need for a meeting with Jumblat then I would do so.”
Jumblat denied on Sunday a media report that he had held secret talks with Aoun.
The FPM chief also hoped that Lebanon would witness political and security stability through the offshore exploration of oil and gas.
“We hope that 2013 would bring good to Lebanon particularly that we have oil resources that should be used in the interest of all Lebanese and to serve stability,” he said.
On Thursday, the cabinet set the first tender for oil and gas exploration for Feb. 1 and set March 21 to publish the list of qualified firms.
Aoun said he discussed with al-Rahi general issues and they agreed on several contentious points.