| 2 February 2023, Thursday |

Bassil, Hezbollah hold ‘frank’ meeting, underscore Alliance

Head of Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) MP Gebran Bassil and a Hezbollah delegation met on Monday to ease political tensions that had strained their alliance.


The two sides have differed over the election of a new president and holding government meetings in wake of the vacuum in the presidency.


Bassil welcomed the Hezbollah delegation, which included political advisor to the party’s Secretary General Hussein Al-Khalil and the party’s coordination and liaison officer Wafiq Safa, at the FPM’s headquarters on the outskirts of Beirut.


Khalil described the meeting as “frank and rich”, stressing that the Mar Mikhael agreement, which cemented the alliance between the FPM and Hezbollah, still stands.


He said the officials discussed several issues, including the presidency and government sessions, adding that they will hold more meetings in the future.


He declined to provide further details.


He added, however, that the alliance still stands even if disagreements may arise.


Disputes are only “normal,” he stated. “We are not a single party, but two, and so, we approach matters from different perspectives, but we always work on common ground.”


The disputes between the FPM and Hezbollah emerged in wake of Bassil’s rejection of the party’s backing of Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh’s run for president.


The FPM has also objected to the caretaker government holding meetings in light of the vacuum in the presidency. It has criticized Hezbollah for allowing its ministers to join the meetings.


The FPM believes that a caretaker government cannot legally hold a meeting while vacuum persists in the presidency.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat