Mikati expects president before June 15, Bassil ready to intensify talks


Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati is stressing in his meetings with visitors that a new president will be elected before June 15, without revealing if he has information that supports his expectation, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Friday.

An opposition source meanwhile told the daily that negotiations between the Lebanese Forces, the Kataeb Party and the Free Patriotic Movement will enter a “new stage.”

MP Ghassan Skaff, who met with Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil in Paris, meanwhile sensed that the FPM chief is “fully ready to intensify dialogue with the opposition forces,” the source said.

“Skaff communicated with the leaderships of the LF and Kataeb prior to his return to Beirut and he will continue his contacts in the coming hours,” the source added, hoping the parties opposed to Suleiman Franjieh “will reach an agreement over a competitor candidate in the coming days.”

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