Disagreements Topple Expected Maronite Summit in Bkirki

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Efforts exerted by top Maronite leaders to hold a summit on May 17 in Bkirki were unsuccessful as sharp differences over the presidential elections widened the gap between the political arch-foes.

According to An Nahar newspaper published on Thursday, Christian leaders informed two envoys tasked by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi that there’s no enthusiasm voiced by any official to attend the meeting.

Last week, media reports said that an initiative by Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel could lead to talks between Christian officials under the auspices of al-Rahi.

Gemayel has met with several leaders in the country in the past week as part of his initiative to resolve the presidential deadlock.

He has held talks so far with President Michel Suleiman, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, Marada movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat.

The presidency is reserved for Maronites under the National Pact of 1943.

The ongoing disagreement between the March 8 and 14 camps is raising fears that they will fail to elect a president before May 25, resulting in vacuum in the country’s top post.

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