Is Aoun on his way out ?

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun has decided to quit the national dialogue talks As-Safir reported on Tuesday.

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gen. Michel Aoun has decided to quit all-party national talks to discuss Hezbollah weapons, the daily As-Safir reported on Tuesday.

Aoun who did not show up during the last national dialogue talks “appears to have burned all his bridges” according to Ali Hussein , a local observer.

Aoun’s decision according to Hussein may have come after feeling isolated following his attacks against the president and Lebanese government including PM Saad Hariri.

Hussein thinks that “Aoun may decide soon to quit politics altogether specially after the arrest of his FPM official , retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam, and burning all his political bridges”

Karam was charged with espionage and providing the Jewish state with information on Hezbollah, Aoun’s closest ally.

Karam and Aoun went into exile in France following Aoun’s defeat by the Syrian army in 1990 and both returned to Lebanon in May 2005 , 11 days following the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon.

Aoun, who attacked the government in a televised speech on Sunday calling for resignations of several ministers was criticized by many political leaders.

Aoun repeatedly condemned in his speech the Lebanese authorities over the issue of leaks to the media on the ( Karam) investigation.

“Who is this branch responsible to?… Is Interior Minister [Ziad Baroud] asleep?” he asked.

Lebanon’s Information Minister Tarek Mitri said in a statement issued on Monday:

“At a time when calm and polite speech is especially important, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun has chosen provocation against the presidency and the government.”

Interior Minister Ziad Baroud and Defense Minister Elias Murr were also quick to snap back at Aoun, expressing regret that the FPM leader was trying to “bring back political bickering to the Lebanese scene at a time when efforts are made to adopt calm and reject any possible strife.”

“All of the Lebanese led by the president are crying in regret over the behavior of some people who are destroying” the presidency, Murr said in a statement.

Baroud, in his turn, said he was “asleep” because there was no electricity. The minister was referring to continued power rationing in the country. Electricity Minister Gebran Bassil is Aoun’s son-in-law, and according to energy analysts the blackouts in Lebanon have increased ever since he took over the ministry.

Minister of State Adnan as-Sayyed Hussein told LBC on Monday president Suleiman is concerned with helping Lebanon and not weeping.

“What concerns President Michel Suleiman is not weeping, but how to protect the country, ease people’s suffering and achieve the content of the Ministerial Statement.” He said

In response to Aoun’s attack Lebanon President Michel Suleiman said in a statement issued from his office on Monday: “Any public figure granted access to the media should refrain from wielding accusations for the sake of personal interest and should use “balanced, quiet and constructive speech.”

Similarly PM Saad Hariri, during an iftar on Monday in honor of social and cultural figures, criticized what he called “loud voices, ” in reference t

o Aoun’s attacks

“The loud voice with a loudspeaker will not be able to reach the minds of the people, but it can engrave venom in their souls,” he told his guests in Qoreitem.