Hariri meets with Mikati, agree on cooperating for sake of country
Mikati to Aoun’s envoys: Huge gap exists between large Lebanese factions, FPM candidate

NNA - Former Premier Najib Mikati received on Monday Change and Reform bloc members, Simon Abi Ramia and Alain Aoun, with talks touching on the general developments, but mainly on the presidential dossier.

In the wake of the meeting, Mikati delivered a statement in which he said "We converge with Free Patriotic Movement on the basic national and reform matters. As for the presidential affair, I have clearly told my guests that there is a huge gap between a large Lebanese component, especially the one I represent, and the candidate of the FPM."

"We discussed this topic and I am still on my position, hoping things would crystallize in the coming days," Mikati said, noting that he explained to his guests "that no bilateral agreement could override the past accumulations at the level of relationship between all Lebanese factions."

MP Abi Ramia, for his part, said "The FPM is activating the presidential dossier so as to take the presidency out of the standstill it drowns into. This action keeps pace with that initiated by Prime Minister Saad Hariri."

"During our meeting today with [former] Premier Najib Mikati (...) we emphasized that General Aoun is a natural candidate for the presidency of the republic. We also agreed on various files, and we stressed in particular that General Aoun's nomination is not a challenge for any Lebanese group. It is rather a nomination for the sake of national unity," he said.

"Aoun's sovereign history confirms that he is among those who defended Lebanon the most," the MP said, assuring that General Aoun's history proves he is far from the narrow sectarian or denominational affiliations and from any rhetoric that does not carry a national dimension.

"Proceeding from these cornerstones upon which General Aoun filed his candidacy, we hope that all the blocs and political forces in Lebanon would work hand-in-hand in order to save Lebanon, because it is high time that we all join efforts and stay united to reach national understandings," Abi Ramia concluded.

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كلمة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي في حفل تكريم الدكتور عبد المجيد الرافعي