Franjieh, Gemayel also decide to boycott Aoun’s Baabda Talks, Updates


Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh and former president Amin Gemayel also announced that they will boycott Thursday’s national dialogue meeting in Baabda.

“We will not take part in the Baabda meeting on Thursday, while wishing the attendees success in their endeavor to rescue the economic, security and social situation and find the aspired solutions,” Franjieh tweeted.

Gemayel for his part said in a statement that he “spares no chance to reaffirm his support for state institutions, topped by the Presidency, and does not waste any chance to engage in national dialogue.”

But he noted that President Michel Aoun’s call for the meeting “does not address the existential threat facing Lebanon in light of the domestic and regional risks and the usurpation of the state’s sovereignty and decisions.”

For these reasons he called on Aoun to “postpone the national meeting and rearrange its priorities according to the requirements of the constitution and the state’s higher interest, in a manner that would preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty, unified fabric, pioneering role and Arab and international ties.”

Aoun said that the main objective behind the meeting is the “immunization of civil peace” in light of the latest violence .

All ex 4 PMs also boycott meeting

This development comes after former Premiers declared their boycott of the meeting .

Lebanon’s four former Prime Ministers blasted Monday President Michel Aoun’s national meeting, labelling it a “waste of time.”

“Our non-participation in the Baabda meeting is a clear objection of the state’s inability to come up with solutions that will save Lebanon,” said the joint statement of four the former premiers – Saad Hariri, Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam.

The former prime ministers said the meeting lacked an agenda and will fall short from addressing Lebanon’s various problems. 

The former premiers also called on Aoun to push for reforms instead of calling for “meaningless” meetings and “blaming others.”

Lebanon has been gripped by civil unrest since October 2019 with protests turning violent on a number of occasions. 

Its currency has lost more than 70 percent of its value while banks implement informal capital controls.

Officials are currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund to secure a bailout package but chances of success are very slim, since the IMF is also insisting on the implementation of reforms before approving any aid .


Sami Gemayel also joins boycott

Phalange Party chief Sami Gemayel , son of former president Gemayel also announced on Tuesday that he will boycott the Baabda national meeting, urging dialogue over the country’s “real problems.”

“We call on President Michel Aoun to put the essential issues on the table. We are advocates of dialogue and peace and we want the country to be civilized,” Gemayel said at a press conference.

But “we cannot but put the real problems on the table instead of silencing or drugging the people or trying to make them forget their bitter situation,” he added.

“We don’t want a dialogue that calls on people to remain silent and we are ready to attend a dialogue over the topics that are the reasons behind the problem, not a dialogue for ‘dying silently,’” Gemayel went on to say.

He said dialogue should be over key topics such as holding new parliamentary elections, forming an independent government, sovereignty and the control of non-state weapons.

Commenting on Aoun’s remarks that the Baabda meeting aims to “immunize civil peace” in the wake of the latest incidents in Beirut and Tripoli, Gemayel said those incidents “were fabricated by the existing regime in order to scare people and make them return to bigotry.”

He is referring to supporters of Hezbollah and Amal who destroyed several downtown shops while trying to disrupt the peaceful protests

“To us, the solution for protecting stability lies in implementing the law and arresting security violators, not in calling for dialogue,” Gemayel pointed out.