Report: Qatar, Egypt to push for 'mini Doha' leading Aoun to presidency
Qatari and Egyptian diplomats have stressed in a major capital that there will be efforts to search for a “third and serious” Lebanese presidential candidate who would “enjoy the consent of Washington and Riyadh and would not provoke Tehran,” a media report said.
“The Qataris and Egyptians said the nomination and election will likely go in the direction of Army Commander General Joseph Aoun should the current status quo remain the same,” the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday.
“Aoun has the higher chances due to his advanced position and his impact on the ground through managing the army in the most difficult period of Lebanon’s history, in addition to the American and Saudi approval of his performance and the influential countries’ non-opposition to his election,” the daily said.
As for Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil’s rejection of Aoun’s election, the newspaper said that “a major settlement between the influential countries will certainly lead to his election, seeing as a Christian cover from more than half of the Christian MPs is secured, in addition to Bkirki’s stance which supports his election, unlike (Suleiman) Franjieh, who lacks a Christian cover.”
“There are reports about an expected Qatari endeavor that would be coordinated with Riyadh and Washington and aimed at speeding things up,” Nidaa al-Watan said.
“It will be in the form of a ‘mini Doha’ (agreement) and it will not lead to the victory of a camp over another,” the newspaper added, referring to the 2008 Doha Agreement that followed deadly clashes between the March 8 and March 14 camps.
“Qatar is waiting for a final green light from the ‘Group of Five’ nations ahead of turning its ideas into a real initiative based on the election of a new president, the formation of a balanced governments and the commencement of reforms, especially that Qatar is seriously thinking of investing in Lebanon’s energy and services sectors,” the daily said.