PM-designate Saad Hariri met Thursday afternoon in Baabda with President Michel Aoun, only hours after the two leaders exchanged bitter tirades that reached the extent of asking each other to step down.
“I told President Aoun that I’m seeking an 18-seat government of specialists,” Hariri said after the talks.
“We agreed to meet again on Monday and there will be some essential answers on how to reach a cabinet line-up as soon as possible,” he added.
“The Lebanese maybe witnessed a clash between the presidency and the premiership yesterday, and I came here today so that we try to alleviate this clash and work on pacifying things,” Hariri said.
“There is a chance now. Let us make use of it and think in order to be able to come up with something on Monday,” he went on to say.
Hariri also stressed the urgent need to form a government to relaunch talks with the International Monetary Fund and tackle the deepening economic crisis.
“The main goal of any government today is to first stop the collapse, through the International Monetary Fund program, and restore the confidence of the international community” in Lebanon, he said.
Al-Jadeed TV had earlier described Hariri’s visit as “an attempt to find common ground to quickly form the government and re-float the line-up that he had submitted.”
“Hariri has stressed his flexibility and openness to changing candidates that President Aoun wants to replace,” the TV network said.