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aoun geagea 100Former Lebanese president and Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel welcomed the expected talks between Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun and the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and expressed hope that such a meeting could to positive results and salvage the Republic

“We encourage dialogue between all (party) leaderships to salvage the Republic,” Gemayel told al-Mustaqbal newspaper in remarks published on Monday.

He hoped the dialogue between Aoun and Geagea would lead to positive results.

Gemayel expressed hope that the talks between them would focus on “saving the constitutional institutions, which have reached a state of decay.”

Gemayel said that he had no information or details about the expected talks.

According to media reports Melhem Riachi, chairman of the LF communication department, and MP Ibrahim Kanaan a key member of Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc are holding meetings away from the media spotlight to prepare the agenda for the dialogue between the two Christian leaders .

According to informed sources the presidential crisis will top the agenda.

Geagea was the first to announce his candidacy for the presidency , Aoun , wants to run as the consensus president , despite his affiliation with the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group. Gemayel could also be a candidate and stressed this point on several occasions.

Geagea is supported by March 14 while Aoun is supported by March 8 .

Geagea has rejected outright Aoun’s suggestion of restricting the candidacy list to just the two of them.

The Lebanese Forces suggested that all the parliamentary blocs attend a session for a presidential election, or else meet up independently and agree on a third person.

Geagea has confirmed, through the delegates, that he would be happy if any of the four main Maronite politicians are elected – himself, Aoun, Gemayel or Marada Movement chief Sleiman Frangieh – but that a figure of very high caliber should be chosen.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Friday that Geagea and Aoun must drop their presidential aspirations and agree on a consensus candidate,

“It is time for March 8 and March 14 to give up their candidates and adopt an approach that could establish the consensual nature of the presidency ,” Machnouk, a key member of the Future Movement, said in a televised interview with Al Arabiya.

“Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea… is a rival to the other camp and… MP Michel Aoun is a rival to us,” he added. “Thus, neither of them can run for president.”

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