March 14 did’t rule out participation in cabinet, say Mikati sources


An unnamed source close to Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati told LBC television on Tuesday that the Phalange Party and Labor Minister Boutros Harb did not rule out the possibility of participating in the next cabinet.

In another development Mikati’s circles also reported that the speeches made on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri had some positive signs that are “consistent with Mikati’s approach.”

The circles told An Nahar newspaper in remarks published Tuesday that the speeches of Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri, Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and former minister Mohammed Abdul Hamid Baidoun at the BIEL rally were consistent with Miqati’s “conviction on the need for dialogue and moderation.”

The circles “hoped that the positive statements would lead to a positive response to the invitation that the premier-designate made March 14 to participate in the cabinet.”

The Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 .

Mikati, who was backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies including MP Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi, was appointed on January 25 by president Michel Suleiman as PM-designate to form and head the next cabinet , giving Hezbollah and its allies increased leverage in the country and provoking widespread protest