Jumblat Sets Stage for Talks with Hariri, Calls for Election of President

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Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat renewed his call on the immediate election of a president to prevent the rise of local armed groups in several cities across Lebanon, confirming reports that he was planning to meet with al-Mustaqbal movement chief Saad Hariri.

Jumblat hoped that a president would be elected and the army and security forces would receive the needed support from the rival parties so that armed groups in the northern city of Tripoli and the southern city of Sidon do not become active again.

The PSP chief confirmed to As Safir newspaper published on Friday that Health Minister Wael Abou Faour traveled to Morocco for talks with ex-PM Hariri to set the stage for a possible meeting with him in Paris.

Al-Akhbar and al-Liwaa newspapers have said the talks will be held next Tuesday.

Jumblat also revealed that he would travel to the French capital to meet with ex-President Michel Suleiman, who is currently on a visit there.

Suleiman left Baabda Palace on May 25 after parliament failed to elect a successor.

Asked about the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, Jumblat said: “We should limit the effects and repercussions of the Iraqi waves on Lebanon.”

“There will definitely be repercussions after the invasion of the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant,” he said.

The insurgency has captured two cities and threatened to press forward to Baghdad.

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