Prime Minister Najib Miqati has started contacts with the main political parties to convince them with the resignation or sacking of Minister of Information George Kordahi and with seeking mediations with Riyadh, al-Akhbar newspaper said Friday.
Miqati wants to make a Cabinet statement that opens the way for Arab and foreign mediations between Lebanon and Riyadh. Reducing the tension with the Gulf will help Lebanon with the negotiations to receive financial aid, Miqati reportedly said.
Miqati’s plan is to convince Kordahi to resign through a “Christian initiative.” If the latter insists on his stance, a Cabinet session will discuss his dismissal, al-Akhbar said.
The prime minister contacted Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi and communicated through mediators with leader of the Marada Movement Suleiman Franjieh. Franjieh insisted on his anti-resignation stance, al-Akhbar said.
Kordahi was nominated by the Marada Movement. Franjieh and Hizbullah have both rejected calls for his dismissal since the start of the Lebanon-Gulf row.
Moreover, Miqati asked Hussein Khalil, political assistant to Hizbullah’s Secretary General, for help in addressing the crisis. Khalil answered that Riyadh is responsible for the crisis and that KSA wants more than Kordahi’s resignation.
The newspaper added that Miqati tried to convince Hizbullah and Amal to vote for or against Kordahi’s resignation in a Cabinet session. Hizbullah refused that the matter be put to a vote.
The Shiite group’s representatives in government had said they will boycott cabinet meetings until it takes a clear stand on demands to replace lead investigator in Beirut port blast Judge Tarek Bitar.
Since then, the Cabinet has failed to hold a single session.
Miqati in a statement Thursday condemned attempts to force his government to intervene in judicial affairs, in a thinly veiled criticism of Hizbullah.
He urged Kordahi to step down, saying his resignation would be “a priority,” and adding that “no Lebanese party can control the country on its own.”
After Miqati’s statement, sources close to Kordahi said that “he will not resign” and that “his stance has not changed.”