MPs responses to Le Drian's presidential questions

As French special presidential envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives in Lebanon in September to resume his initiative to push for a solution to the presidential impasse, Lebanese MPs have still not responded to a letter he sent via the French embassy, in which Le Drian asks them about the required qualifications of the future president.

Al-Akhbar newspaper said Thursday that while Amal has responded to the letter, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Marada are preparing their answers, and the Progressive Socialist Party will hold a meeting monday to take a decision regarding the letter.

PSP sources have told al-Akhbar that, unlike the opposition, the party is leaning towards responding to the letter, as it does not want to strain its relation with France even though it has many reservations on Paris' approach.

The Change MPs, for their part, are still mulling whether to respond or not, except for MP Elias Jradeh who decided to respond and is already preparing his answer.

Le Drian, who is scheduled to return to Lebanon in September, had proposed on his last visit to Lebanon to invite all those taking part in the process of electing a president to a meeting in September to achieve a consensus on the challenges and on the priority projects the future president will have to carry out, and consequently the qualities necessary for tackling them.

Thirty one opposition MPs said in a joint statement last week that "any dialogue with Hezbollah would be futile" and that dialogue should only be held after a president is elected.

Opposition sources told al-Akhbar that they had agreed with Le Drian, during his last visit, to discuss the qualifications of the future president in bilateral work meetings in September, and not through written questions and answers.

The daily said that other delegates from the five-nations group on Lebanon might also visit Lebanon in September.

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