SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 July 2021, Friday |

PM-designate heads to Abu Dhabi as Hezbollah contacts FPM

In light of the latest developments, Hezbollah contacted the Head of the Free Patriotic Movement on Tuesday evening, as the PM-designate continues his private visit to Abu Dhabi. Information about a second meeting that took place in the last few hours was divulged, although there were no high expectations for this encounter. Bassil is still insisting on appointing the two Christian ministers, according to sources, and Hezbollah offered the Head of the Free Patriotic Movement the option of selecting these two ministers from a list of five names proposed by the party in agreement with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, but Bassil rejected this quick fix.

According to the information, there is nothing fresh or substantive to discuss, and the atmosphere remains gloomy. When it comes to speculating on what President Aoun may do to end the government impasse, Baabda sources said that ideas might include an invitation to a conversation table or transparency with Lebanese, admitting to them the story behind government deadlock. Moreover, sources have also said that President Aoun may conduct a press conference in response to Berri’s interview. However, according to Baabda sources, nothing in the constitution allows the President of the Republic to withdraw the assignment from Hariri, despite the fact that MP George Atallah is a member of the Strong Lebanon bloc and is close to Bassil, and that before him, former Minister Ghassan Atallah was the one who spoke to the media about ways to withdraw the assignment from Hariri. However, it appears that the conversation is merely aimed at intimidating the PM-designate, since President Aoun claims that Baabda sources are attempting to address the issue rather than exacerbate the conflict, dismissing any talk of withdrawing the assignment.

The bet is currently in Baabda before taking any action on Hezbollah’s initiative, assuming that the negotiations will take a long time because the disagreement between the two sides is profound and serious, according to Palace sources.