Report: Suleiman Exerts Efforts to Persuade Rival Parties to Attend Dialogue

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A series of contacts will be held by President Michel Suleiman during the upcoming days to convince the March 14 opposition leaders to attend a national dialogue session at the Baabda Palace.

Informed sources told the Saudi Okaz newspaper that Suleiman will carry out consultations with local and foreign figures over the resumption of all-party talks on January 7.

The sources revealed that if the consultations failed to persuade the March 14 officials to attend the dialogue then the president will postpone it. However, he will not set a new date for a new session.

“All signs indicate that the opposition will not budge an inch on its stance from boycotting the dialogue until the cabinet (of Prime Minister Najib Miqati) steps down,” according to the sources.

They added that Suleiman is depending on foreign powers to convince the rival parties on the importance of resuming the all-party talks.

Lebanon plunged in a political crisis in October after the opposition blamed the government for the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch chief Wissam al-Hasan.

The opposition demands the resignation of the government as a condition to ending its boycott to all political activity and the formation of a national salvation cabinet.

However, Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel assured that he will attend the upcoming all-party talks.

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