Why Hezbollah Refused To Meet With Gebran Bassil

Hezbollah has declined a request from Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Gebran Bassil for a meeting with Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, a senior source from the Shiite Duo confirmed.

The dispute between Hezbollah and Bassil was reportedly under control until Bassil called Hezbollah Liaison and Coordination Officer Wafiq Safa to request a meeting with Nasrallah.

Bassil wanted to consult with Nasrallah over a list of presidential candidates he had prepared, according to the source who spoke to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

However, when Safa asked Bassil if the list included the name of Marada Movement leader ex-MP Sleiman Franjieh, Bassil replied that it did not.

This led Safa to ask about the reasons behind Franjieh’s exclusion, especially since Nasrallah had informed him that Franjieh had a higher chance of being nominated for the presidency.

Safa then told Bassil that there was no need for him to meet with Nasrallah in the near future unless he changed his stance, according to the source.

The phone call took place last week.

Hezbollah and FPM signed the Mar Mikhael agreement, a memorandum of understanding, back in 2006. This MoU empowered Hezbollah in Lebanon while guaranteeing the presidential position for the now former president Michel Aoun.

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