The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to The Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Hale visited Baabda Palace seeking Sleiman’s extension
U.S. Ambassador David Hale visited Baabda Palace recently to discuss a proposal by Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai that called for extending President Michel Sleiman’s term.
The proposal, however, cannot see the light given Sleiman’s insistence that he leave office at the end of his term and also due to Hezbollah’s and MP Michel Aoun’s strong rejection.
Rai: Aoun’s, Geagea’s management of Christians ‘suicidal’
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai told a meeting in Bkirki Wednesday that the management of Christian affairs by Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea was a “suicidal management” that had killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of Christians.
Aoun and Geagea, according to Rai, “want [Christians] to die out and they won’t stop until the last Maronite is eliminated.”
“We shouldn’t be watching as Christians are being displaced and thrown into the arms of Sunnis and Shiites,” Rai said.
Saudi Arabia expressed desire for Sleiman’s extension
Saudi officials have expressed their desire for the extension of President Michel Sleiman’s term during talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and the accompanying delegation in Riyadh.
The delegation quoted the Saudi officials as saying that Riyadh preferred to see Sleiman’s term extended by one or two years due to the impossibility of electing a new president in light of the deep divide.
Aoun will ask a high price to avoid a power vacuum
MP Michel Aoun’s belief that he will be elected President of Lebanon is a big problem.
“Once he is convinced [otherwise], a new phase will start.”
Some observers believe that Aoun will ask a high price in return for evading a power vacuum and preventing the country from entering into chaos.
Aoun’s demands include that he take control over the Lebanese Army as well as the Foreign and Energy ministries.