Report: Hariri Discussed with Berri ‘Logical Settlement’ to Resolve Presidential Crisis

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Al-Mustaqbal movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri has reportedly informed Speaker Nabih Berri that he backed a “logical settlement” on the presidential deadlock by agreeing on personalities, who are currently not candidates.

Al-Akhbar daily said that Hariri’s proposal on the settlement, includes the withdrawal of the candidacies of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and his rival Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to “agree on a personality who is capable of protecting the political understanding.”

Hariri suggested the names of former Minister Jean Obeid and Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji, said al-Akhbar.

Geagea is backed by the March 14 alliance. But Aoun has not officially announced his candidacy, saying there should be consensus on him first.

The names of Obeid and Qahwaji have made the rounds as possible candidates after the parliament failed to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman, whose term expired in May.

The lawmakers of Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc along with the majority of the March 8 MPs have been boycotting parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a president, causing a lack of quorum.

Their boycott is aimed at preventing Geagea from reaching the country’s top Christian post.

According to al-Akhbar, Hariri made it clear to Berri that the new president should make guarantees to Hizbullah that its arsenal would not be under scrutiny for the time being.

“But this president should reach clear understandings with us on the management of the (country’s) political and economic affairs,” he allegedly said.

The March 14 alliance’s officials, including the Mustaqbal movement leader, have for long called on Hizbullah to hand over its weapons and integrate with the Lebanese army.

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