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Hezbollah delegation meets Aoun over presidential crisis, Future talks

Source: The Daily Star – BEIRUT: Hezbollah official Mahmoud Qmati Friday expressed hope that the party’s dialogue with the Future Movement as well as developments in the Middle East and worldwide would lead to the election of a new president.

“There are signs and there is a possibility of a breakthrough in the presidential election,” Qmati told reporters after heading a Hezbollah delegation that met with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun in Rabieh.

The Hezbollah delegation also included the officials Ghaleb Abu Zeinab and Ali Daher.

“Dialogue between Hezbollah and Future as well as regional and international developments bode well,” he said. “Let’s hope for the best.”

Qmati reiterated Hezbollah’s support for Aoun as its presidential candidate.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since President Michel Sleiman’s term ended with lawmakers failing to elect a successor due to lack of consensus.

Qmati said he updated Aoun on the results so far of the ongoing Hezbollah-Future dialogue, which is yet to discuss the presidential matter.

“This dialogue is serious and will continue, and all the participants enjoy calmness, rationality and objectivity,” he added. “It has helped bring back the patriotic Lebanese spirit to the Lebanese and cooled the sectarian tensions in the country.”

His visit was on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of a memorandum of understanding between the FPM and Hezbollah.

“We have reiterated our commitment to the memorandum of understanding between the FPM and Hezbollah, which is fit to be a dialogue blueprint for all the Lebanese,” Qmati said.

“We also touched on the anticipated dialogue between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces, where we saw a serious will to reach results before holding the essential meeting of this dialogue,” he added, referring to a direct meeting between Aoun and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.

Qmati said the discussion also touched on Hezbollah’s recent attack on an Israeli military convoy in the occupied Shebaa Farms, saying both sides agreed about the operation’s importance in keeping the balance of power and preventing Israel from committing any other assault on “Lebanon and its people.”

Turning to Middle East turmoil, the Hezbollah official said Lebanon “is better than all its surroundings in terms of stability and security, despite the terrorist plans.”

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