Baabda Officials Deny Ties with Hizbullah Severed

President Michel Suleiman has relations with all the political parties in Lebanon and has no enmity with any of them, Baabda Palace officials said.

The officials, who were not identified, told An Nahar daily published on Thursday that “the president is in continuous contact with all the political parties.”

“His relations with them have not been cut and he has no hostility against anyone,” they said.

The officials seemed to be shrugging off rumors that ties between Suleiman and Hizbullah have been shaken after media reports said the party launched a political campaign against the president.

Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad hinted lately that the party would not hand any portfolio to any new minister in a cabinet which “lacks political backing.”

Hizbullah has been calling for the formation of a government in which the March 8 and 14 alliances would get nine ministers each and neutrals six ministers.

However, such a line-up is rejected by the March 14 alliance.

The reports said the party has launched a campaign against the president over fears that he would form a fait accompli cabinet along with Premier-designate Tammam Salam and over accusations that he has entered the “Saudi sphere of influence.”

Suleiman has been calling for the withdrawal of Lebanese fighters from Syria, mainly Hizbullah, which is openly fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops against the rebels seeking to topple him.

Saudi Arabia is a strong backer of the rebellion against Assad.

An Nahar said that Raad is expected to visit Baabda Palace soon.

Raad and Suleiman held a telephone conversation on Wednesday over the latest attack in the Hizbullah stronghold of Baalbek.

A car bomb packed with explosives detonated near a Hizbullah base in the district of Baalbek Tuesday, causing several casualties, officials said.

It was the latest in a wave of deadly attacks that have targeted the group's interests in Lebanon.

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