Hariri Meets Bassil in Paris Ahead of 2nd Round of Presidential Elections

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

A meeting was held on Tuesday in Paris between former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil on the eve of the second round of the presidential elections.

The meeting comes as the French capital is witnessing a flurry of political activity as the Free Patriotic Movement is awaiting the support of al-Mustaqbal movement for FPM leader MP Michel Aoun's presidential bid.

MTV reported in the afternoon that the Hariri-Bassil meeting started at lunch, while LBCI television said the talks lasted for five hours.

"Minister of Education Elias Bou Saab also took part in the meeting," LBCI added.

The same source remarked that the talks were positive, and that both men agreed on rejecting vacuum in the presidency.

They also stressed that the vote must have a Christian flavor, it added.

Sources close to al-Mustaqbal Movement told the Central News Agency that Hariri was keen on not holding the talks in Saudi Arabia, “so that it won't be explained in other terms and given other explanations.”

Former al-Mustaqbal MP Antoine Andraos told the CNA that the the Hariri bloc will not endorse the nomination of Aoun "because the Sunni community will not accept this, as it has not forgotten what the FPM chief has done to it."

Aoun, meanwhile, is ready to open files that harm al-Mustaqbal because the party will not support his candidacy, Andraos added.

"We reiterate our support for Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in the presidential race, and we call on Aoun to convince Christians of his candidacy, before trying to convince Muslims.”

Al-Mustaqbal bloc confirmed Andraos' statement after the MPs' weekly meeting at the Center House on Tuesday evening.

"Samir Geagea is the candidate who gained March 14's support and the bloc calls on the MPs to vote for him in tomorrow's session," the lawmakers said in a released statement.

Earlier in the day, there were conflicting reports on the meeting between Hariri and Bassil.

Al-Liwaa daily said that the FM headed from Rome to Paris to meet with the al-Mustaqbal Movement chief on Tuesday.

But according to An Nahar newspaper, the meeting between them took place on Monday night despite a lack of information on Hariri's final stance from Aoun's candidacy.

The FPM chief has repeatedly said that he would not announce his candidacy if there was no consensus on him.

If Aoun does not win Hariri's support for his presidential bid, then the second round of the presidential elections this Wednesday will meet the same fate of its predecessor.

The Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance is expected not to attend the session, resulting in a lack of quorum.

Last Wednesday, lawmakers failed to elect a president after no candidate was able to garner the needed two-thirds of votes.

March 8 MPs withdrew from the parliament after voting, resulting in a lack of a two-thirds quorum of the 128-member legislature.

Also Tuesday, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is expected to visit Paris on his way to the Roman Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes amid reports that he would hold talks with Hariri.

Al-Rahi has been calling on MPs to elect a new head of state before President Michel Suleiman's six-year term expires at midnight May 24.

The patriarch and Suleiman, who would leave Baabda Palace on May 25, have warned that the failure to elect a new president would lead to vacuum in the country's top Christian post.

According to al-Joumhouria newspaper, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, who is from the March 8 camp, is in the French capital for talks on the presidential elections.

Hariri's adviser ex-MP Ghattas Khoury also traveled to Paris to brief the former prime minister on the results of his talks with Geagea and Kataeb leader Amin Gemayel.

Geagea is the only politician who has officially announced his candidacy for the presidency. But he only garnered 48 votes in the first round of the elections.

Deputy Speaker Farid Makari, who is backing Geagea, is also in the French capital. He already met with Hariri in Saudi Arabia several days ago.

G.K./ S.D.B.

H.K./ M.T.

Comments 19
Thumb ex-fpm 29 April 2014, 08:00

بيروت – المركزية: التقى رئيس “تكتل التغيير والاصلاح” النائب العماد ميشال عون, في دارته في الرابية, أمس, سفير النظام السوري لدى لبنان علي عبد الكريم علي. إثر اللقاء, قال علي “العماد عون كان سعيدا بما تحققه سورية (يقصد النظام) من انتصارات ونجاحات وما يحققه محور السيادة في العالم”, مضيفاً “كان التفاؤل كبيراً بأن المنطقة تتجه الى توازن أكبر وانتصار لمعنى السيادة والكرامة والتوازن وهو ما نرجوه في لبنان وسورية معا”

Thumb general_puppet 29 April 2014, 08:58

M8 is completely under the militia's thumb... they don't have the guts to put up a candidate, vote blanks and walk out, to break quorum. As usual if Nasrallah does not get what he wants his underlings sabotage the proceedings, nothing but a bunch of extortionist.

Thumb general_puppet 29 April 2014, 09:00

They would love Qahwaji... but Aoun would have a fit.

Thumb thepatriot 29 April 2014, 10:20

The way Aoun goes begging Hariri on his knees is disgusting...

Thumb habib 29 April 2014, 11:17

E sa3adet jeneral aoun sar bi hob l7aririyi siyesiyi walwehabiyi watakfiriyi wasalafiyi kam men attoham atlaka 3ala tayar almosta2bal sho nsito on way tickets e sho 3ada ta bada ...
Bas ma3 Mon general kolo bisir laswad bisir abyad e general bi7e2ello se3a gida sa3a gida

Missing forces 29 April 2014, 18:50

3ayb,walla 3ayb ya aoun, you should convince the Christians before you try to convince the Muslims. enou 3an jad what the hell is this man thinking? He is the true division within the Christians and a true embarrassment at that. So now instead of conceding defeat in obtaining consensus and working towards ensuring we have a new head of state the emperor will bring the country to a stand still and impact the lively hood of all Lebanese whilst he sulks in his own demise and out of spite undo any progress already made in such a fragile landscape. Did he really need a political novice like Hariri to school him on conduct befitting a statesman. Why did he not approach Geagea and propose a united Christian approach to this mess..shame

Thumb smarty 29 April 2014, 18:52

I do hope that the flights are paid from their own pockets, so should it be for the hotels and restaurants.

Missing coolmec 29 April 2014, 20:02

Aoun did not do anything good to the Christian community so why would you expect him to do something good to the Sunni community?

Thumb EagleDawn 29 April 2014, 20:43

ask salim el hoss flamethrower when aoun shelled school buses in west beirut and massacred childen at 7:30 in the morning.

Missing thatisit 29 April 2014, 21:27

so mustaqbal is throwing ja3ja3 under the bus and rolling with aoun
ah yes- reason is to not allow jumblat to be the swing vote
How believable ?
great politics - way to go mustqabal

Thumb freedomarch 29 April 2014, 21:28

Speaking of salim el hoss, hiding his family in Bahia hariri s house .... this trator.

Thumb EagleDawn 29 April 2014, 21:46


schools were not open huh? There is no one like you flame thrower who is an expert at distorting and lying.

Thumb freedomarch 29 April 2014, 21:56

Defending real terrorists and talking as if you are so innocent. Another bla bla bla ya 7aydar.

Thumb freedomarch 29 April 2014, 21:58

You know that hizbola are terrorists if not ..it means you are heart blind. Bla bla bla ya 7aydar.

Thumb EagleDawn 30 April 2014, 00:35

so, the Associated Press is a news rag according to the flamethrower, LOL. here read some more:
A howitzer salvo landed in a crowded street of west Beirut, setting seven cars afire, said Associated Press photographer Ali Mohammed.
''The charred body of one motorist was pulled by rescuers from one car as pedestrians sprinted in panic for cover,'' he said.
Dozens of smoldering cars littered the Aishe Bakkar, Mossaitbeh, Noweiry and Ein Mreisseh districts of west Beirut and the Ashrafiyeh, Dora, Hazmieh and Bourj Hammoud neighborhoods of the Christian east, police said.
A shell landed near a bakery where a line of people waited to buy bread 200 yards from the prime minister's home. Another demolished a sandwich kiosk outside a seaside restaurant in west Beirut's Rouche district, a few yards from a Syrian army checkpoint.

Thumb EagleDawn 30 April 2014, 00:35

Hoss accused Christian army gunners of shelling crowded intersections in west Beirut and called for an end to ''this shameful massacre, this new cycle of mad violence.''

Thumb beiruti 30 April 2014, 00:37

The Sunni have had to endure Aoun's constantly making excuses for Assad who slaughters Sunni Syrians every, he has gassed them and Aoun has condoned the conduct. Aoun is allied with Hezbollah who is engaged in a war against the Syrian Sunni and justifies Hezbollah's conduct.
Then he sends his son in law to Paris to beg support from Hariri!! Hariri does not return to Lebanon as he is under a death threat from Hezbollah/Assad, Aoun's allies. And Aoun begs Hariri's support??

Thumb beiruti 30 April 2014, 00:41

How can he expect it except through incredible arrogance or threats of blackmail, as he has already threatened. This guy is an extreme hypocrite. He takes actions not caring for the consequences, and due to his Hezbollah alliance he pays none. We want this in thePresidency??? At least Geagea paid with 11years in prison, what has Aoun ever paid to become a consensus candidate, even among the Lebanese Christians??!
Enough, Aoun!! Give it up. Even if you get the office you will ruin the nation as you do everything else. Move off the stage, let the next generation of Lebanese have their turn. You've already blown your turn.

Missing helicopter 30 April 2014, 06:37

Michel Aoun, has basically indicated that he will not stand unless guaranteed to win. Is this the election of a president or a schoolyard game, where the rules are “it’s me or no elections?”
This is how M8 play the game, whether it is Cabinet formation or Presidential elections. Or any Government appointments.