Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea has said that he “intended” to meet with his rival Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, vowing not to give up on the talks easily.
“There is no set date but the intention is there,” Geagea told al-Akhbar newspaper in an interview published on Monday.
“The LF has a decision to continue with dialogue on all issues even if we did not reach any result. Dialogue between us will include all issues and is not limited to the presidency,” he said.
Geagea stressed that he could agree with Aoun on several issues even if they failed to strike a deal on the presidential deadlock.
The country's top Christian post at the Baabda Palace has been vacant since President Michel Suleiman's term ended in May.
Both Aoun and Geagea have announced their candidacies for the presidency. Their rivalry and the failure of the different parties to agree on a compromise candidate caused the vacuum at the presidential palace.
Geagea stressed that the LF insists on dialogue despite Aoun's announcement in an interview with al-Akhbar last week that he was holding onto his candidacy.
“I am a candidate and I will not vote for anyone or give up (my candidacy) for anyone,” said Aoun.
But the LF chief stressed that the lawmaker “will no longer hold onto his candidacy when he realizes that this will lead nowhere.”
“That's why we will give dialogue its time and we will not give up easily,” Geagea said.
He added that the presidential post should not remain vacant if Aoun did not hold a chance to be elected.
Geagea told his interviewer in response to a question that the MPs failing to head to parliament to elect a new president are responsible for the vacuum.
“The parliamentary blocs that are causing lack of quorum are responsible for” the deadlock, he said in reference to Aoun's Change and Reform bloc, Hizbullah MPs and several other lawmakers from the March 8 alliance.
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