Many March 8 leaders are boycotting dialogue talks


President Michel Suleiman insists on holding Thursday’s national dialogue session despite the absence of party leaders from the meeting, MTV reported Wednesday.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri shares Suleiman’s point of view, MTV added.

According to local reports Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt, Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan , Syrian Social National Party chief Asaad Hardan and Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel will not attend the session.

Members of the national dialogue committee are set to meet at the Presidential Palace in Baabda at 11 a.m. to resume their talks. The last dialogue session was held in August, in which the committee agreed to continue studying a national defense strategy.

Franjieh voiced the importance of postponing Thursday’s national dialogue session amid current circumstances, saying that a delay is better than a dispute breaking out in the meeting.

“It is important that [Prime Minister Saad] Hariri acts as a premier,” the MP told OTV, adding that he hopes “issues do not lead to chaos.”

MTV reported that Speaker Nabih Berri has been actively trying tonight to reach an agreement over the postponement of Thursday’s national dialogue session amid the insistence of President Suleiman and PM Hariri on holding the session on time.

Al Manar quoted Baabda palace sources on Wednesday evening as saying : “We’re dismayed by the boycotts of the dialogue session and the invitations to the national dialogue session still stand. We reject any linking between the false witnesses issue and the dialogue table.”



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