Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs, Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi met on Monday in Beirut with Lebanese officials and a number of party leaders to discuss the means to find a solution to the presidential vacuum in the country.
While information noted that the Qatari envoy carried an initiative to solve the crisis, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that it was not possible to talk about a presidential initiative, especially since no proposal was submitted in this context.
The sources described the visit as “exploratory”, saying that it could be a prelude to some steps in the next stage.
Al-Khulaifi met on Monday with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Foreign Minister Abdullah Bou Habib, Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, and head of the Lebanese Kataeb party, MP Sami Gemayel. According to the available information, the Qatari envoy is also expected to meet on Tuesday with the head of the Lebanese Forces party, Samir Geagea, and a Hezbollah official.
A statement issued by Berri’s office said that discussions during the meeting touched on the general situation, the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, and means to strengthen bilateral relations.
Mikati, for his part, stressed the strong Lebanese-Qatari ties, hailing “the Qatari contributions in helping Lebanon overcome its difficulties at the political and economic levels.” He also renewed “appreciation for Qatar’s support for the army.”
The caretaker premier reaffirmed that the gateway to resolving the crises in Lebanon lied in the election of a new head of state “as soon as possible.”
The meeting between Al-Khulaifi and Gemayel touched on “the need to elect a president, who will be able to deal with all political, economic and financial files, and restore Lebanon’s relations with its friends in Arab countries and the world,” according to a statement by the party.