Lebanon News

Jumblatt hopeful for 'fresh start' after Hariri meeting

Walid Jumblatt, the political leader of Lebanon's minority Druze sect, speaks during an interview as he sits in his garden in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri Wednesday evening at Hariri’s Downtown residence, expressing optimism for the future now that the prime minister had agreed to put off his resigenation.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Jumblatt said, "We are making a fresh start. We must remain committed to stability and we hope that the ‘suspension’ phase of Mr. Hariri's resignation will be prolonged so that things may resume their normal course."

Jumblatt said that "there is no doubt that what Sheikh Saad has proposed regarding stability is a very important thing."

"I think the clouds have passed and there are many friends of Lebanon. It has been shown, as usual, that the friends of Lebanon, of Sheikh Saad and of stability are many," the PSP leader added.

The meeting represented Jumblatt's first meeting with Hariri since the prime minister’s shock resignation announcement from Riyadh more than two weeks ago.

President Michel Aoun had refused to accept the resignation before Hariri returned to Lebanon to explain the reasons that pushed him into making the decision.

Hariri arrived Tuesday night and attended Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday before meeting with Aoun. Following the meeting, Hariri announced that he put his resignation on hold at the president’s request.





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