Stalemate in government formation continues to hold despite recent efforts and talks with Hezbollah to break the ice between the President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, as well as between them and Paris that is attempting to revitalize efforts once more.
New information reveal that France have attempted in recent days to work on an initiative to hold a meeting between Aoun, Hariri, and the Head of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil in Paris. However, following a round of phone calls with Lebanese officials, the Elysee Palace withdrew this initiative fearing that the initiative and the subsequent meeting might not lead to any solution, and thus receiving another blow.
“Al-Joumhouriya” newspaper learned that Prime Minister Saad Hariri sent a letter to Aoun in which he assured him that he has gotten over the personal insults by Michel Aoun that were leaked in a recent video. Despite that, President Aoun has yet to call Hariri and invite him to the Presidential Palace, as he has not witnessed any change in his hardline positions on the cabinet formation. Aoun expects the cabinet formation to happen according to the criteria he previously suggested to Hariri expecting him to take them into serious consideration.
On the other hand, informed sources told “Al-Joumhouriya” that Aoun does not wish to invite Hariri only to increase the number of invitations to the tally. He rather insists that the invitations be exclusively for serious attempts to break the critical stalemate. The information also indicated that there are two parallel movements moving along the government formation. The first is led by the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Beshara Botros Al-Rahi and is dominated by a moral and spiritual character, and the second is led by the Director General of Public Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim who is focusing efforts between Baabda and “Beit Al Wasat” (Hariri’s Residence) to overcome obstacles .