Dialogue Session Scheduled for Monday, Suleiman to Deliver 2 'Important' Speeches This Weekend

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Rival political leaders are scheduled to convene at Baabda Palace on Monday to resume national dialogue sessions, as President Michel Suleiman is expected to deliver two “important” speeches on the weekend.

Al-Joumhouria daily revealed on Thursday that Suleiman informed Prime Minister Tammam Salam during a Wednesday meeting that he is planning on sending the invitations for the dialogue session, which will take place at 11:00 am on Monday.

The invitations will be sent on Thursday and Friday to all political leaders, whether they had taken part in past sessions or boycotted them, said the newspaper.

Baabda Palace sources told Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, meanwhile, that the presidency has not yet received any official notification from political leaders about boycotting the session.

The session will discuss the national defense strategy.

The last dialogue session took place on March 31, when participants stressed the importance of an agreement on a defense strategy given a rise in terrorist threats.

It was boycotted by the majority of March 8 camp's representatives and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea from the March 14 alliance.

In a separate matter, Suleiman is expected to deliver two messages on the weekend, the first on Friday when he will meet with diplomats in Lebanon, and on Sunday, during the inauguration of the "Michel Suleiman Sports Village."

An Nahar newspaper revealed that the president will tackle the presidential elections in his statements, which the daily described as “important.”

Baabda Palace sources told al-Joumhouria that Suleiman will not deliver a formal statement, but that he will improvise a speech which will stress the importance of Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions.

He will particularly emphasize United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, which is considered an “important shield for protecting Lebanon.”

The president will also underscore the Baabda Declaration and reiterate the policy of disassociation from regional events, particularly from the regional crises.

“He will call for reaching a peaceful solution in Syria that would preserve the unity of Syrian territories and stop the bloodbath in the neighboring country,” the sources told the daily.



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