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In Saudi Eyes: Michel Aoun option better than no president

Friday 24 October 2014

The Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea and MP Sami Gemayel travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday evening after being invited to hold talks with top officials about the possibility of the Christian agreement on electing MP Michel Aoun as President according to sources.

Sources add that Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is close to agreeing on Aoun becoming the next Lebanese President, and has asked his KSA allies to help him convince Geagea and Gemayel to accept, since Hariri considers that having Aoun as President is better than the current vaccum. The Former PM considers that his agreement on Aoun becoming president would show Hezbollah’s – and all of March 8’s- real stance on this issue. If Hezbollah objected, then that would cause problems between them and Aoun, and if they agree, then Aoun who is known for his confrontational nature will have a dispute with Hezbollah about their weapons.

Aoun had pledged to Hariri that he will “contain” Hezbollah’s weapons inside Lebanon. As for the weapons currently used by Hezbollah in Syria, they have become out of the Lebanese bounds, and thus connected to a regional solution, where there is no need to hold Lebanese talks into withdrawing it out of Syrian territories, sources state.

According to former PM Hariri, if Aoun were President, and the chaotic presence of weapons in the hands of “Resistence Saraya”, street thugs, and the kidnapping gangs was contained, then this would achieve economic growth which is what the country needs at the current stage.

Sources in the Lebanese Forces Party said that KSA officials believe that there is no solution for the issue of the Presidency in the foreseeable future unless there was a Christian agreement on this issue. Geagea replied that March 14 tried to no avail to reach any solution with Aoun who insists on being the sole candidate for the Presidency. He added that Hezbollah is benefiting from Aoun’s intransigence to prolong the presidential vacuum in the country while waiting for a clear vision on the situation in the region, and to meet clear Iranian wishes.

Sources add that Geagea’s views on the regional situation matched those of the KSA officials, especial the Syrian situation where they both considered that the only solution for Syria is for Bachar Assad to leave.

In a related context, the LF sources said that Geagea met with PM Hariri at length and had an almost matching approach on the Parliamentary extension, the Government’s performance and that of M14 Ministers.

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