Jumblatt says PSP initiative in coordination with Sleiman

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Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said his initiative to find a breakthrough out of Lebanon’s political crisis is being coordinated with President Michel Sleiman.

“My initiative is in full coordination with the president and goes along with his efforts to end the political deadlock in the country and push for resuming the national dialogue,” Jumblatt, was quoted as saying in As-Safir Tuesday.

Lebanon’s political situation has reached a stalemate between the March 14 and March 8 camps following the Oct. 19 assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, a senior security official who headed the ISF Information Branch.

March 14, who accuse Syria of the killing and hold the Cabinet responsible, declared a boycott of the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati shortly after and have said they will not resume national dialogue until its resignation.

The PSP leader, who has been observed taking a centrist position, decided to launch an initiative to prevent Sunni-Shiite strife and to encourage all parties to get engaged in dialogue.

On Monday, Jumblatt said he will not conduct contacts with different Lebanese rivals himself, but will task a PSP delegate with contacting Lebanon’s political groups.

Jumblatt’s initiative will start Tuesday, with a PSP delegation set to visit the presidential palace later in the day.

“We believe that dialogue is the basic means to address the crisis because problems cannot be solved through boycott,” Jumblatt said.

He revealed that his initiative will include all political powers, civil society organizations, and syndicates.

Meanwhile, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour, of Jumblatt’s bloc, told As Safir in remarks published Tuesday that all political parties will be given a document with Jumblatt’s proposal to get out of the crisis on the basis of national dialogue.

The minister said that the document will be delivered to the political powers after the Independence Day celebrations on Nov. 22 and upon Sleiman’s return from a visit to the Vatican scheduled for the end of the month.

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