Qatari Emir Hopes President would Postpone Consultations, Suleiman Sees No Justification for it

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani hoped in a telephone with President Michel Suleiman that the parliamentary consultations over appointing a new prime minister would be postponed in order to allow more room for reaching a settlement, revealed Arab diplomatic sources to the daily Al-Mustaqbal Sunday.

Suleiman, however, ruled out such a development, saying that it would be “unjustified seeing as he was the one who called for holding the consultations in the first place,” reported the daily An Nahar Sunday from the president’s visitors.

He stressed that there should be no fears of the crisis negatively impacting Lebanon’s economy, adding: “No one can eliminate the other … despite the current difficulty, tomorrow will come and the disputes will be resolved.”

Meanwhile, informed sources told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat that Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat is one of the strongest advocates of postponing the consultations.

It also reported presidential sources as saying that Suleiman would not approve a postponement unless all sides agreed to it.

Furthermore, a March 8 political source told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat Sunday that the opposition is certain that the parliamentary consultations will fall in its favor following Jumblat’s announcement that he would support Syria and Hizbullah’s position in the matter.

“If the results of the consultations do not favor the opposition candidate, then they should be postponed,” it added.

“Reappointing Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri to his position will only complicate matters further and if he does return, then he won’t be able to form a new government,” it added.

“We are seeking partnership in government with the other camp, but according to our conditions and that of the new majority,” it said.

If the conditions are rejected “then we will form a Cabinet without them and it will be constitutional on all levels.”

“We are not seeking vengeance, but the new authority will be formed based on new standards and changes will be necessary in a number of administrations in a way that would enable the state to confront the dangers of the upcoming phase,” it continued.

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