Mustaqbal Delegation in Riyadh to Tackle Presidential Deadlock

A high-ranking al-Mustaqbal movement delegation traveled Wednesday to Saudi Arabia to discuss Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea's possible withdrawal from the presidential run.

According to state-run National News Agency, the delegation was led by head of al-Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq.

The two men were accompanied by former MPs Ghattas Khoury and Bassem al-Sabaa and former premier Saad Hariri's adviser Nader Hariri.

According to As Safir newspaper, the delegation will join discussions regarding the presidential elections, upon a request by ex-PM Hariri.

Sources told the daily that the withdrawal of Geagea's candidacy is one of the options that will be tackled with Saudi officials.

The sources said that the retraction of the LF leader's candidacy will be accompanied by the nomination of another.

On Tuesday, Hariri held talks with Geagea, who is currently in Saudi Arabia on an official visit, in Riyadh.

A statement issued by Hariri's office said the meeting underlined the need to “continue consultations and discussions aimed at overcoming the current political crisis and electing a president as soon as possible.”

The LF leader had arrived in the Gulf kingdom on Sunday.

Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun is still the candidate of the March 8 camp in the face of Geagea, the nominee of the March 14 forces.

Political differences and the rivalry between the two men have led to a lack of quorum in 16 electoral sessions in parliament, amid a boycott by the MPs of Aoun and Hizbullah.

The presidential seat has been vacant since president Michel Suleiman's term ended on May 25.


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