Dialogue Postponed to Dec. 14 as Franjieh Says Willing to Consider March 14 Proposal on Presidency

A national dialogue session was held at Speaker Nabih Berri's Ain el-Tineh residence on Wednesday as officials addressed the ongoing presidential vacuum and Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh urged the media against exaggerating claims on ending the deadlock.

He said after the brief talks: “Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun is the March 8 camp's presidential candidate, but if the March 14 camp makes a proposal, then we are willing to consider it.”

“We respect the opinion of the other side and take it into consideration,” he told reporters.

“You would be wrong to believe that our positions are being made without consulting Aoun,” he stressed.

Media speculation has been rife in recent days that Franjieh would be a new presidential candidate in the wake of claims that he had held talks last week with Mustaqbal Movement head MP Saad Hariri.

Franjieh refused to confirm or deny the claims, saying: “Whether I met with Hariri or not is not important..”

“We all have our convictions and are united by Lebanon. We should set aside our interests and place Lebanon's interests as a priority,” he stated.

Moreover, he urged the media to derive positives from recent developments, saying that efforts are ongoing to reach a settlement to end the presidential deadlock.

“We trust the other side and the proposal made by the March 14 camp is serious, but nothing official has been reached,” he remarked.

Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014 when the term of Michel Suleiman ended without the election of a successor.

Ongoing disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 alliances over a consensual candidate have thwarted the polls.



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