Reports: Qatar intends to activate its presidential mediation

Qatar intends to activate the contacts over Lebanon’s presidential election file, media reports have said.

An informed political source told Lebanon’s ad-Diyar newspaper, in remarks published Sunday, that the activation of the contacts will come after Doha succeeds in its mediation between Hamas and Israel, which will see the release of a batch of Israeli hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners and the supply of Gaza with fuel and aid.

The efforts on the Lebanese presidential file will be backed by the five-nation group on Lebanon and Doha is pushing for the election as president of General Security acting chief Maj. Gen. Elias Bayssari, the source added.

“Political parties in the government and the opposition have recently started to deal with Maj. Gen. Bayssari as being a serious candidate who has chances in the race to Baabda,” ad-Diyar reported.

“There are behind-the-scenes attempts to test the waters regarding the choices of the presidential juncture during the wait for the expected Qatari effort,” the daily added.

An informed parliamentary source meanwhile told the same newspaper that the issue of the presidential vote is still frozen, downplaying the reports about the looming resumption of the Qatari endeavor.

“There are shy calls and contacts over the presidential juncture, but they are not at the level of activating this file in an effective way,” the source said, noting that Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi intends to call for reviving this file instead of linking it to the Gaza war.

A parliamentary source from the Shiite Duo meanwhile told ad-Diyar that “the stance of Amal and Hezbollah is known, which is supporting (Marada Movement chief Suleiman) Franjieh, while stressing at the same time the importance of dialogue among the various forces and parties” in order to “elect a president as soon as possible.”

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