Quintet ambassadors meet Bassil in presidential talks tour


Four ambassadors of the five-nation group for Lebanon met Thursday with Free Patriotic Movement leader Jebran Bassil at his residence in Bayyada, as they resumed their meetings for a second day in Beirut.

The ambassadors of Egypt, France, KSA, and Qatar agreed with Bassil on separating the clashes between Israel and Hezbollah in the south from the presidential file, Egyptian Ambassador Alaa Moussa said after the meeting.

The quintet's ambassadors had met Wednesday with Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh, Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel, and the National Moderation bloc MPs.

The ambassadors will meet with other politicians this week and end their tour with a meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, in an attempt to end the presidential impasse in Lebanon.

Crisis-hit Lebanon has been without a president since Michel Aoun's term ended in October 2022, with neither of the two main blocs -- Hezbollah and its opponents -- having the majority required to elect one.

The international community and the five-nation group have long urged Lebanese leaders to end months of political wrangling and stem the financial meltdown.

Moussa said after the meetings Wednesday that the quintet is trying "to build bridges" and "increase trust" between the Lebanese parties. He said that "common ground is increasing day after day."

Al-Jadeed TV reported Thursday that the ambassadors of Egypt, France, and Qatar also met with the Loyalty to Resistance bloc, and that the bloc's head Mohammad Raad told them that Hezbollah is open to a dialogue that would be chaired by Berri.

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