President Michel Aoun denied the claim that the upcoming national meeting aims to restore a “national reconciliation government,” and asserted that the primary discussion of the meeting will be civil peace.
“The primary subject of the dialogue on Thursday is to fortify civil peace in order to avoid slipping towards the worst and bloodshed,” the Lebanese President said on Monday afternoon.
Furthermore, President Aoun insisted that the aim of going to the dialogue table was not to return to a government of national reconciliation, noting that “the consensus system lacks democracy due to the absence of the so-called minority and majority.”
It’s worth mentioning that the “national meeting” that is set to take place June 25th may be postponed after the four former prime ministers Saad Hariri, Najib Mikati, Tammam Salam, and Fouad Siniora announced their intent to boycott it.
The ex-premiers said that their non-participation in the Baabda meeting is “a clear objection to the inability of this state to develop solutions that will save Lebanon with all its components,” calling it “a waste of time.”
Hence, now that the former prime ministers, who are the top representatives of Lebanon’s Sunni sect, are all going to be absent, the meeting may either take place on Thursday as planned or be postponed, a source told The Daily Star.
The former PMs had shown skepticism regarding the “national meeting” ever since they received the invitation from the Presidency last week, and criticized it for having “no agenda or roadmap,” as ex-premier Najib Mikati put it.
Notably, the leader of the Marada Movement, Sleiman Frangieh, said he would follow the lead of the ex-premiers regarding the meeting, which means he will not be attending it either.
Unless the meeting is still set for Thursday, the Lebanese Presidency is expected to make a new announcement regarding its status within the next couple of days.