Michel Suleiman
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Report: European States Seeking Solution to Presidential Crisis

Discussions are underway in European countries to find a solution to Lebanon's presidential deadlock by proposing the name of a security official who receives consensus, Western diplomatic sources in Beirut said Sunday.

The sources told the Saudi Okaz daily that the official should receive the support of Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal movement.

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Asiri: Let Dialogue Lead to Election of President

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri emphasized on Friday that his country is keen on Lebanon's stability, hoping that the dialogue among rival political parties would lead to fruition and elect a head of state after a vacuum at the post.

“Saudi Arabia is keen on Lebanon's stability. We hope that the dialogue succeeds in electing a new president to enhance the constitutional institutions,” the state-run National News Agency quoted the ambassador as saying.

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Geagea Says Direct Presidential Elections are Impossible

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea has rejected calls made by the Change and Reform bloc leader, MP Michel Aoun, for direct presidential elections.

The election of a president by the people requires a huge change for the regime and needs calm and deep thinking, Geagea said in an interview with the Qatari al-Watan newspaper published on Thursday.

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Geagea Slams Division of Shares, Describes Dialogue as 'Waste of Time'

Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea announced on Saturday that the LF will not participate in a dialogue that Speaker Nabih Berri has called for to tackle Lebanon's controversial issues, describing it a “waste of time.”

“The dialogue will be similar to its predecessors. Consequently, it is a waste of time,” Geagea said about previous all party-talks held under former President Michel Suleiman.

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Lebanon's U.N. Ambassador Stresses Consensus on Lebanon Stability

Lebanon's permanent representative to the U.N. Nawaf Salam has said that there is consensus among the world's major policy-makers to support Lebanon's stability.

“The importance of the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon (later this month) lies in having international consensus on the support of Lebanon and its political and security stability,” Salam told As Safir newspaper in remarks published Friday.

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Berri Hopes LF Would Attend Dialogue

Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed hope that the Lebanese Forces would announce its support for the dialogue session that he has called for.

“If (LF chief Samir) Geagea decided not to participate in the dialogue, then I would understand his stance because he hadn't participated in the previous all-party talks under the chairmanship of former President Michel Suleiman at Baabda Palace,” Berri told his visitors.

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Top Officials Welcome Berri's Dialogue Initiative

Lebanese leaders have welcomed Speaker Nabih Berri's initiative for dialogue to resolve the presidential crisis and other political problems that are threatening to create chaos in Lebanon.

Sources close to Prime Minister Tammam Salam told al-Joumhouria daily published on Monday that he welcomes any initiative which takes the country out of paralysis.

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Report: Ministerial Sources Anticipate Berri's Initiative

Ministerial sources following up closely on the contacts between political factions said they are waiting for the initiative expected to be kicked off by Speaker Nabih Berri to hold consultations to bring the rival politicians on the dialogue table either in Ain el-Tineh or in parliament.

The Speaker is thoroughly studying the initiative and has not failed to test the waters, exploring the reactions in advance, the sources told al-Joumhouria daily on Saturday.

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Matar Says Bkirki Spiritual Summit to Focus on Baabda Vacuum, Protests

The Maronite bishop of Beirut, Boulos Matar, said Friday that a Christian-Muslim summit scheduled to be held in Bkirki next week is aimed at stressing the importance of swiftly electing a president and discussing the demands of anti-government demonstrators.

Matar told al-Joumhouria newspaper that the summit which will be held on Monday will focus on two main issues – the election of a head of state as soon as possible and the demands of the people.

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Report: Berri Seeking to Launch Consultations among Rival Leaders

Speaker Nabih Berri has been holding contacts with Lebanese political parties to revive the all-party talks that he had launched in 2006, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Thursday.

Berri has been holding consultations to bring the rival politicians on the dialogue table either in Ain el-Tineh or in parliament, the daily said.

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