BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Jumblatt denies discussing presidency with Nasrallah, Berri

“Let them rest assured,” he said. “Some of the Christian groups who are obsessed with the presidency.” (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt denied on Tuesday discussing the presidential election with the Shiite duo Speaker Nabih Berri and Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, emphasizing that the war on Gaza was the priority.

Speaking to reporters following a short visit to Berri’s headquarters in Ain al-Tineh, Jumblatt said that his talks with the Speaker and his weekend meeting with the Hezbollah leader did not touch on the issue of the stalled presidency.

“Let them rest assured,” he said. “Some of the Christian groups who are obsessed with the presidency.”

In a veiled reference to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, Jumblatt blamed “some Christian groups” who stubbornly stood firm on their positions of obstructing the election.

The Druze leader said the main topic of discussion during his meeting with Nasrallah was the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

Jumblatt has held talks over the weekend with Nasrallah on the presidential election, the Israeli war on Gaza and the turmoil in Syria and Iraq, said a statement issued by Hezbollah.

It was the first meeting between the two leaders in more than two years following tension over the conflict in Damascus.

Jumblatt maintained that Hamas would “emerge victorious” from the ongoing war, “just like Lebanon triumphed during the 2006 war.”

Jumblatt also regretted that the United States, Israel and some Arab countries were conspiring against Palestine.

On domestic affairs, the Chouf MP said contacts between Health Minister Wael Abu Faour and Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil about the problematic issue of the wage hike were ongoing.

Both ministers attended the Ain al-Tineh talks on Tuesday.

Jumblatt hoped that the issue would be resolved soon, adding that contacts will include other parties in the government.

Lebanese lawmakers have struggled for months now to hammer out a compromise formula for the divisive issue of the salary scale. Parliament has been debating a wide range of proposals to fund higher wages for government employees and public school teachers.

 

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Summary

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt denied on Tuesday discussing the presidential election with the Shiite duo Speaker Nabih Berri and Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, emphasizing that the war on Gaza was the priority.

Speaking to reporters following a short visit to Berri's headquarters in Ain al-Tineh, Jumblatt said that his talks with the Speaker and his weekend meeting with the Hezbollah leader did not touch on the issue of the stalled presidency.

Jumblatt has held talks over the weekend with Nasrallah on the presidential election, the Israeli war on Gaza and the turmoil in Syria and Iraq, said a statement issued by Hezbollah.


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