Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest – May 30, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to The Daily Star's readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Hezbollah sources: Aoun-Future talks shift to parliamentary elections

An-Nahar has learned that leading Hezbollah figures are following up on talks between Free Patriotic Movement head Michel Aoun and the Future Movement.

Hezbollah sources said talks were shifting from the presidential election to parliamentary elections.

The sources showed enthusiasm for holding the elections even under the 1960 law if a new law was not finalized.

Information made available to An-Nahar said Aoun was still waiting for a response from Future Movement head Saad Hariri regarding his approval/disapproval of his nomination for the presidency.


Hezbollah likely to boycott Rai over his visit to Israel

Sources close to Hezbollah told Al-Akhbar that the resistance party felt very embarrassed when Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai left them disappointed after a recent meeting in Bkirki where Rai insisted that his Jerusalem trip was purely religious.

The sources said Hezbollah was holding talks with its allies, particularly Christians, to determine the nature of the new relationship with Rai.

They said Hezbollah’s stand would not be limited to issuing a statement criticizing Rai but would likely take a decision to boycott Bkirki in protest.


Aoun-Hariri negotiations ongoing

Well-informed sources told Al-Joumhouria that FMP leader Michel Aoun and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri were “in serious negotiations” over the presidential election but that no tangible results have emerged.

The sources said the reason for this “seriousness” came from U.S.’s keenness for stability in Lebanon.


Aoun scraps Geagea proposal, refers “deal” to Rai

Sources told Al-Mustaqbal that MP Michel Aoun rejected a proposal made by Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and conveyed to him by a delegation from the General Maronite Council.

Geagea has offered to “meet” with Aoun in order to reach “an understanding and then an agreement” on the presidential election.

Aoun said: “I refuse to compare my history with Geagea’s. I am a Christian of the Levant while he considers Daesh his ally,” a reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

“Agree with the Patriarch on a consensus candidate and I will give up my candidacy,” Aoun replied when the delegation pressed him for a solution to the presidential election stalemate.


Salam fears obstruction

Jumblatt for revamping Taif Accord

Prime Minister Tammam Salam expressed concerns that “some political parties likely have the intention to disrupt the work of the government.”

“Nevertheless, I'm open to talks with Cabinet ministers and political parties on a mechanism of action while sticking to the powers granted to me by the Constitution,” Salam told As-Safir.

“It is my duty, and within my constitutional power, to call a Cabinet meeting, and I set the agenda,” he said.

Meanwhile, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said he supported revamping the Taif Agreement.

“My priority is having presidential election first and then parliamentary elections,” Jumblatt told As-Safir.





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