Mustaqbal Sources: Hizbullah, Geagea Knew of Franjieh Nomination before Paris Talks

Hizbullah and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea had been aware that al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri would discuss a possible presidential settlement with Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh prior to the famous Paris meeting between the two leaders, a report said on Thursday.

“Hizbullah had prior knowledge of Franjieh's nomination and the remarks of its secretary-general about a 'package settlement' came in this context,” LBCI TV quoted Mustaqbal sources as saying.

“Samir Geagea was also informed by ex-PM Hariri more than three months ago,” the sources added.

Commenting on Wednesday's meeting between Franjieh and Change and Reform bloc chief MP Michel Aoun, the sources noted that “through the meeting it set up between Aoun and Franjieh, Hizbullah was clear that it does not want to end the presidential vacuum and that it does not currently have an interest in an Iranian-Saudi settlement.”

Hizbullah has not made public statements about Franjieh's nomination but media reports said party officials have visited Aoun in recent days to reassure him that it will keep supporting his presidential nomination as long as he holds on to it.

Geagea for his part has voiced veiled dismay over the Hariri-Franjieh meeting while LF officials have noted that the party cannot endorse any presidential hopeful before knowing the details of their presidential platform.

The move to nominate Franjieh has also drawn reservations from Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and the Kataeb Party.


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