Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati seemed to be upbeat Thursday after his fifth meeting with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.
“The meeting was important… and we made progress today in the consultations, albeit a slow progress, but we are determined and keen on forming the government,” Miqati told reporters.
Describing the meeting as a “positive step forward,” Miqati added that he has set a formation deadline for himself out of his “patriotic sense,” seeing as the constitution does not stipulate a deadline.
Asked about the reports that have suggested that he might resign soon, the PM-designate said: “I have accepted the designation in order to form (a government) and I have not mentioned anything about resignation.”
“But should I face a dead end as to finding a harmonious team to achieve revival, I will speak to the Lebanese, but so far I have not encountered any problem,” Miqati added.
Calling on the Lebanese to shun “despair,” the PM-designate said he will hold a sixth meeting with Aoun on Friday.
A “highly informed source” had earlier told the Akhbar al-Yawm news agency that
Miqati’s visit to Baabda on Thursday would likely be “the last.”
Paris will then “exert pressures on Aoun and MP Jebran Bassil and European sanctions will be imposed prior to Miqati’s resignation before the end of August,” the source added.
“What’s more dangerous is that the club of ex-PMs will not offer Maronites any Sunni premier during Aoun’s tenure after Miqati’s resignation,” the source went on to say.