BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam Monday said governments were the source of political balance in the country, adding that foreign countries had not meddled in the upcoming presidential election.
“When I became prime minister, I hoped that the government would be short-term and not one to fill a vacuum. ... After the Taif Accord, governments became the creators of balance in the country,” Salam told reporters on board a plane heading to Saudi Arabia for an official visit.
Responding to questions, Salam denied that his trip was aimed at discussing the presidential election, saying ties with the Gulf country remained solid.
“I intended on kicking off my [Arab] tour in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Salam also denied reports that Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai had proposed extending President Michel Sleiman’s term to avoid a vacuum in the country’s top Christian post.
Rai held talks with Salam earlier in the day before the prime minister began his trip.
“We know that political forces have their ties with foreign [countries] but we have not seen any foreign meddling in the presidential election,” he said. “I hope we don't reach a point of political outbidding after May 25."