Renewed FPM-Mustaqbal War of Words Expected to be Contained

The renewed war of words between the Free Patriotic Movement and al-Mustaqbal Movement is expected to be “contained,” after intensive contacts were held in this regard, media reports said.

The contacts “will intensify further after (Prime Minister Saad) Hariri returns from Paris, in preparation for this week’s cabinet session,” ministerial sources told al-Hayat newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

“Hariri wants the government to focus on the missions required from it and not to waste time on bickering and debates,” the sources said.

“Hariri can no longer offer more concessions under the presidential settlement, neither in front of his supporters nor in the relation with his allies, and he can no longer disregard (FPM chief Jebran) Bassil’s endorsement of choices that are against the policies of the countries that are supporting Lebanon and asking it to abide by the dissociation policy,” the sources added.

Observers meanwhile told al-Hayat that they do not rule out that Hariri has traveled to Paris to “signal that he is infuriated and annoyed by the FPM’s pressures.”

“The criticism of Bassil’s speech in Future TV’s news bulletin intro did not come without Hariri’s knowledge,” the sources suggested.

The TV network has strongly lashed out at Bassil over a speech he delivered on Friday about refugees, electricity, the government’s work and corruption.

Strong Lebanon bloc sources hit back in remarks to al-Markazia news agency, expressing “surprise” over Future TV’s stance.

“All parties and forces represented in the government are concerned with Bassil’s remarks, especially regarding the achievements that the Lebanese are awaiting,” the sources said.

“Bassil and the FPM wanted to deliver a clear message to Hariri: the era of political procrastination has ended and the time has come for work, especially in the Syrian refugee file,” the sources added, stressing that the Syrian refugees should return home as soon as possible.

The sources, however, reassured that the “presidential settlement” is “not in danger.”

“But this does not mean remaining silent over the unacceptable procrastination regarding the real start of the government’s work,” the sources added, noting that Bassil’s remarks aim to press Hariri to seek “productivity” instead of “wasting time in traveling.”

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