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Lebanon News

Aoun says country in need of dialogue

FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Rabieh, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Free Patriotic Movement Leader MP Michel Aoun stressed Tuesday the need for dialogue to find a way out of Lebanon’s political crisis.

“There is a need for dialogue... Or else how would we solve problems? Do we solve them with arms?” Aoun said following talks with President Michel Sleiman in Baabda.

Aoun however added that “half the country doesn’t want to hold consultations,” in reference to the March 14-led opposition.

The meeting between the two leaders was part of the consultations the president is holding with different Lebanese rivals in an effort to resume national dialogue.

President Michel Sleiman’s press office issued a statement saying discussions tackled recent developments and addressed solutions to maintain stability in Lebanon.

Both leaders also stressed the importance of dialogue among rival parties, Sleiman’s statement said.

The FPM leader said the country’s situation is not as bad as the media is portraying it, and offered assurances that the Cabinet will not resign under pressure.

“We are doing fine, we feel comfortable and the government is being productive,” Aoun told reporters.

Tension in Lebanon heightened after the October 19 assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan. The March 14 coalition has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of being behind Hasan’s killing. It has also said the government is responsible for the crime and called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to resign.

Rejecting the opposition’s campaigns against his government, Mikati vowed to stay in office and said dialogue was the only way to resolve the political crisis.

 

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