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Lebanon News

Hariri says he and Jumblatt to push for intra-Lebanese understanding

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a televised speech during the 7th anniversary of the assassination of his father Rafik Hariri in Beirut, Feb. 14, 2012. The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said in remarks ished publThursday that events in the region should prompt Lebanese politicians to seek an understanding with one another, and that he and MP Walid Jumblatt would aid such a process.

“What is happening in the region should help us reach an understanding in Lebanon; Walid Jumblatt has a role in this and so do I,” Al-Hayat quoted Hariri as saying.

He also said that a rapprochement earlier this week with Jumblatt restored direct contact between the two.

Hariri and Jumblatt met Tuesday in Paris for the first time in over a year in a bid to bury the hatchet. Ties between the two had been strained since the collapse of Hariri's Cabinet in January 2011.

Jumblatt, head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), backed Najib Mikati last year to replace Hariri as prime minister following the resignation of March 8 ministers from the National Unity government.

The PSP leader had said that he is part of a big-tent coalition with the March 8 alliance, which includes Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, but recently sent clear signals that he is preparing to abandon the parliamentary majority wielded by March 8.

Tuesday's meeting signaled the possible return of Jumblatt to the March 14 coalition and rekindled the latter’s hope that it could regain the parliamentary majority in the 2013 elections.

Commenting on his meeting with Hariri, Jumblatt said his political ties and friendship with the Hariri family transcended their differences.

“This meeting came after a period of suspension [of contacts] imposed by political circumstances that followed the collapse of the so-called Syrian-Saudi initiative,” the PSP said.

The party added that the two men’s views on various domestic issues discussed at the meeting were “completely identical.”

 

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