BEIRUT: Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has reportedly strongly criticized MP Michel Aoun and stressed that he preferred a Lebanese president with no links to the rival March 8 or March 14 camps.
Local newspaper As-Safir, citing well-informed Lebanese sources, said Faisal had informed Lebanese and foreign leaders that he rejected Aoun’s nomination as Lebanon’s president.
“We in the kingdom do not forget the history of this man [Aoun]. ... A consensus character cannot be made in one day or one season,” Faisal was quoted as saying.
He stressed the importance of finding a “consensus president who does not belong to March 8 or March 14.”
Aoun has said in recent comments that he is ready to be Lebanon's consensus candidate.
As-Safir said the sources could not tell whether the remarks were Faisal’s personal opinion or that of Saudi Arabia.
The sources said the Saudis, nevertheless, encouraged dialogue between Aoun and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.