Rai receives Riachi and Kanaan in Bkirki, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (The Daily Star/Michel Akl, HO)
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In June 2015, Samir Geagea met with Michel Aoun at the latter's residence in an attempt to unite the Christian community, members of which had fought and killed each other for years. Geagea, the leader of the Lebanese Forces, then announced his backing of Aoun for the presidency in January 2016, from Geagea's Maarab residence. The LF's caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi and FPM MP Ibrahim Kanaan both said after meeting Rai that the agreement was essential and would not collapse.In a letter to be delivered to Aoun, Geagea and the FPM's current leader Gebran Bassil, Rai stressed the importance of the "historic" reconciliation between the two sides.The Kataeb Party was criticized by a large part of their longtime ally party, the LF, for refusing the agreement.Frangieh said that understandings such as the one between the LF and Marada can be productive.With the Maarab Understanding's failure to give exclusivity to the LF or FPM, the Kataeb and Marada will not remain silent over their displeasure with the attempt to sideline them.
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