BEIRUT, Jan. 13, 2022 (Xinhua) The Lebanese presidency announced today (Thursday) that President Michel Aoun’s call for a national dialogue “will remain open”, calling on those who reject it to “stop arrogance and agree as soon as possible to hold an open dialogue.”
The Presidential Information Office said in a statement, after President Aoun’s consultations with the heads of Parliament and the government and heads of parliamentary blocs regarding the call for dialogue, that “it was found that a number of them ranged from their positions between refusing to consult and rejecting dialogue, which holds them responsible for the consequences of the continued comprehensive obstruction of the authorities, the government and the judiciary.” and Parliament.
On December 27, in a televised speech, Aoun called the Lebanese political parties for an “urgent national dialogue” with the aim of understanding the approval of the expanded administrative and financial decentralization, the defense strategy to protect Lebanon, and the plan for financial and economic recovery.
Several parties, including the Sunni (Future) movement led by Saad Hariri, the Christian (Lebanese Forces) led by Samir Geagea, the Druze (Progressive Socialist) led by Walid Jumblatt, and the Christian (Marada) movement led by Suleiman Franjieh announced a boycott of dialogue on the grounds that the priority at present is to conduct Parliamentary elections next May.
Against this background, the Lebanese presidency’s statement affirmed that “the president’s call for dialogue will remain open,” expressing hope that “the patriotic sense of the boycotters will prevail over any other interests.”
The statement called on the boycotters to stop what it described as “perseverance” and to “look at the suffering of the Lebanese people and agree as soon as possible to hold a frank dialogue.”
The presidency considered that “the continued disruption of the Council of Ministers is a deliberate disruption of the financial and economic recovery plan, without which there are no negotiations with the International Monetary Fund or with others, and therefore no aid or reforms, but more wear and tear for the state and a deepening of the collapse.”
The Lebanese government has not met since last October 12 due to disagreements over the decisions of the judicial investigator in the case of the Beirut port explosion, Tariq Al-Bitar, as ministers close to Hezbollah, the Shiite (Amal) movement, and the Christian (Marada) movement are calling for the removal of Al-Bitar after accusing him of “politicizing” the investigation.
The statement stressed, “Aoun is continuing his call for dialogue without hesitation and taking every initiative or decision aimed at protecting Lebanon and the Lebanese,” stressing that “he will spare no effort to resume dialogue and prepare for its administration.”
Other parties support the dialogue, including the Christian Free Patriotic Movement headed by Gebran Bassil, Aoun’s son-in-law, its Shiite ally Hezbollah, the Shiite “Amal” movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Druze Lebanese Democratic Party headed by Talal Arslan and the Armenian Tashnaq Party.
Lebanon has been suffering for two years from the worst economic and financial crisis in its history, classified by the World Bank among the 3 worst economic crises in the world. /ts/