Former Lebanese PM and Future movement leader MP Saad Hariri said on Thursday after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande at at the Elysee Palace that “political sacrifices need to be made” in dealing with Lebanon’s presidential deadlock.
“No doubt there are some political sacrifices that we need to make. Lebanon is more important than all of us,” said Hariri after the meeting .
“President Francois Hollande received Hariri at 10:30 am Paris time at the Elysee Palace,” a statement issued by the Future movement chief media office said.
“It is crucial that the presidential crisis ends,” said Hollande after the meeting.
For his part, Hariri added: “We are working on ending the vacuum and there is an ongoing dialogue between the whole Lebanese factions. The hopes are high in Lebanon to conclude this matter.” He said
Despite the divisions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, recent reports signaled a Saudi-Iranian push to conclude the thorny file of electing a Lebanese president in addition to a French role that could engage in the efforts.
The Lebanese parliament failed again yesterday and for the 32nd time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25 last year.
As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the session.
Speaker Nabih Berri a key ally of Hezbollah postponed the election to December 16 .
Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh emerged recently as a potential presidential candidate after visiting Hariri in Paris . But Aoun reportedly rejected his candidacy and Hezbollah went along with Aoun and declared that the FPM leader is its sole candidate . This is despite the fact that Franjieh is a key member of the Hezbollah -led March 8 alliance and the closest to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.
Franjieh visited PSP chief MP Walid Jumblatt at his residence in Clemanceau last night . Prior to their meeting he told reporters that Hairi is very serious about his candidacy and trusts everything Hariri told him.
“My nomination has not become official until the moment and I believe that Hariri is 100% honest in his support for me and that he was serious in everything he said,” Franjieh said.
Franjieh stressed that his possible nomination will not affect the unity of the March 8 camp and that the camp will not head to the parliament to elect a president unless it is united. Franjieh added that he and Aoun have been together for a long time and will remain friends.