Bassil Denies Playing Role of Mediator to Facilitate Presidential Elections

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Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil denied claims that an ambassador, whose identity was not disclosed, had requested that he play the role of mediator to facilitate holding the presidential elections, reported An Nahar daily on Tuesday.

He told the daily: “I am not a mediator in this affair.”

“I am the most inflexible member of the Free Patriotic Movement” and therefore cannot act as mediator, he explained.

“I adopt a strict position and therefore am not in a position to be approached to serve as a facilitator,” stressed the minister.

Bassil revealed that he was approached to play such a role, but he turned it down due to his stances.

Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May.

Numerous elections sessions were held, but the majority of them failed due to a lack of quorum at parliament caused by a boycott of the March 8 camp’s Loyalty to the Resistance and Change and Reform blocs.

The boycott stems from a dispute over a compromise president.

Head of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun has repeatedly said that he would be willing to run in the elections if there was consensus over him.

His rival in the March 14 alliance and presidential candidate Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea has accused the lawmaker and his bloc of obstructing the polls as a form of blackmail to impose his nomination and election.

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