Jumblat, Hariri Discuss Electoral Law, Govt. on MP's Surprise Visit to Saudi Arabia

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Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat held talks on Saturday with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on the latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

They addressed efforts to form a new government and reach an agreement on a new parliamentary electoral law, announced Hariri's media office in a statement on Sunday.

They also discussed the crisis in Syria, stressing the need to confront “agendas to drag Lebanon into the conflict.”

“Such attempts are aimed at threatening coexistence in Lebanon and the national, security, social, economic, and political interests of the its people,” added the statement.

Jumblat made a surprise visit to the kingdom on Saturday night in order to address the latest developments in Lebanon, reported An Nahar daily Sunday.

After meeting Hariri, he then held talks with Saudi Intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, reported Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) Sunday.

An Nahar said that consultations with Saudi officials tackled efforts to form a new government in light of indications that Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam will announce a cabinet lineup soon.

But caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, who accompanied Jumblat on his trip, said later on Sunday that the Druze leader's visit to Saudi Arabia “is part of the continuous consultations with its officials over all issues, noting that “it was not aimed at discussing the cabinet formation process … especially that the kingdom does not interfere in Lebanon's domestic affairs.”

“Officials in the kingdom always stress that they stand at the same distance from all the Lebanese,” Abu Faour added.

He said Jumblat held a “fruitful” meeting with Hariri, during which they discussed “the cabinet formation process, the electoral law and the threats facing Lebanon due to the Syrian crisis.”

“As for the issue of the cabinet, the party leader will continue his contacts with President Michel Suleiman, PM-designate Tammam Salam, Speaker Nabih Berri and the political forces concerned in a bid to reach consensus over the cabinet formula proposed by PM-designate Salam, which we hope all parties will accept given its balance and accuracy,” Abu Faour added.

An Nahar had reported that Salam will follow his convictions over the new government in that he will refuse to grant any political camp veto power, which the March 8 alliance had been demanding.

He had held talks on Saturday morning with Jumblat's envoy caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour, who relayed to the premier-designate the results of the discussions that National Struggle Front held with Speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday.

Jumblat last visited Saudi Arabia in February, the first time he traveled to the kingdom in over a two years.

Jumblat and Hariri last met in Paris in January earlier this year.

Comments 4
Thumb LebDinosaur 12 May 2013, 08:45

Like they say, the tabkha n'tabakhet. Jumblatt is the last piece of the puzzle, and he's going to collect his check.
I'm willing to predict that may 15 will yield a very quick resolution of a pre-cooked deal, whatever that deal is.

Thumb Chupachups 12 May 2013, 08:48

3amoo joumblaattt ma trou7 la hounikkkkk Bleaze khalik b lebnen..

btw do u like my avatar 3amo? it is inspired by you.

Missing love4lebanon 12 May 2013, 10:53

Well done Walid Beik.

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