President Michel Aoun wants the national dialogue dialogue talks to be held before the end of the month , al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Monday.
Starting Tuesday the President will start holding separate meetings with a representative of the Amal Movement parliamentary bloc , Hezbollah parliamentary leader MP Mohammad Raad , Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh, MP Talal Arslan and Tashnag bloc chief MP Hagop Pakradounian, the daily quoted informed sources in Baabda as saying.
They are all allies of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group .
According to media reports Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat would not attend . He had announced two days ago that “seeking the revival of Cabinet sessions remains the most important thing, before doing any other act.”
Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri and the Lebanese Forces have already confirmed their boycott of the proposed dialogue.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati reportedly told Aoun that “the current circumstances are not appropriate for dialogue talks , informed sources told al-Joumhouria.
“He reportedly told Aoun that if he insists on holding the talks he might take part only in his capacity as the prime minister and not as head of a bloc
The newly-formed Cabinet of PM Mikati has not convened since October 14 due to a dispute over the port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar . Hezbollah and the Amal Movement are demanding that the government take action to fire him over alleged bias.
Both Aoun and Mikati, have stressed that they reject “political interference” in judicial affairs.
A member of Free Patriotic Movement ( FPM) parliamentary bloc, MP Asaad Dergham, blasted Hezbollah and Amal for preventing the cabinet from holding meetings calling their action a crime against the Lebanese
In an interview with Al-Jadeed TV, Dergham said: “What Hezbollah and the Amal Movement are committing against the Lebanese is a crime. The government is stalled in light of the ongoing collapse, and the country needs to approve a budget and approve a plan for financial and economic recovery, and people are starving.”
In order for Lebanon to get any help from the IMF , in getting out of the financial crisis it needs to finalize its 2022 budget . If the budget is not finalized and submitted to IMF the current talks will collapse like they did during the first round , Lebanon will return to square one
It is important to note that FPM founder President Michel Aoun has been Allied with Hezbollah since 2006 and the current leader of FPM is Aoun’s son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil who is also allied with Hezbollah. Hezbollah is also allied with the Amal movement of Speaker Nabih Berri.
Meanwhile the Lebanese currency collapsed again today as the financial crisis continues . The pound ( The Lebanese Lira) LL , which is officially pegged at the rate of about 1500 LL to the US dollar, has been tanking for 2 years in a row and today the rate was 31,000 LL to the dollar , a new record low , black market rate . One analyst told Ya Libnan ,” this is the price we are paying for getting Aoun to Baabda “, a possible reference to Aoun’s agreement of Feb 2006 with Hezbollah which is blamed for the collapse of Lebanon and its economy