Local Mediators Seek to Revive Aoun-Hariri Meetings


Common friends of President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Saad Hariri have launched behind-the-scenes efforts aimed at securing the resumption of meetings between the two leaders to facilitate the formation of a new government, media reports said.

Political sources close to the various parties told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Monday that the efforts had kicked off on Friday, shortly after the end of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to Lebanon.

The sources added that Speaker Nabih Berri has encouraged these efforts, which are aimed at “exploring the possibility of reviving the severed contacts.”

“These contacts are seeking to promote a scenario involving the possibility of relaunching meetings between Aoun and Hariri, and also between Aoun and Berri,” al-Joumhouria said.

“Meetings were held over the past hours between advisers and common friends in order to launch this political drive as of today (Monday), in an attempt to achieve the objectives before the end of this week,” sources close to Baabda, the Center House and Ain el-Tineh told the daily.

“This way the Eid al-Fitr holiday would be an opportunity to crystallize a new draft cabinet line-up that would revive dialogue between these parties,” the daily added.

“In addition to these closed-door and unannounced meetings, visits were carried out over the past days by MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Wael Abu Faour, as an activity of a security mediator who is used to play such roles was detected,” informed parliamentary sources told the newspaper.

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