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Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah discuss future president of Lebanon

Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia have exchanged messages discussing the future of Lebanon's president after the Lebanese parliament failed, for a third time, to elect a new president, Al-Khabar newspaper reported.

The paper said that Riyadh contacted Hezbollah asking whether the party wants to elect a new president or does it prefer a power vacuum.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah informed Riyadh that it is keen on electing a new candidate and that its candidate is Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun who is capable of being approved by consensus, the paper said.

Political sources in Riyadh and Beirut claimed Saudi does not support Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces, and prefers a consensus president who could unite the political factions in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri of the Future Movement announced his full support of Geagea as the only figure capable of curbing Hezbollah's influence.

According to the sources, Riyadh returned its ambassador Ali Awad Asiri to Beirut despite security risks as an expression of its desire to solve the deadlock in Lebanon, believing that a political vacuum might be favourable to the Syrian regime.

The United States supports Aoun's nomination, while Saudi Arabia and France believe that Aoun and Geagea will not achieve consensus among the rival parties.

A Sunni politician close to the Future Movement, who asked not to be named, told Arabi21 news agency that "Riyadh's initiative comes after Sunni circles considered Geagea's nomination harmful to the Lebanese Sunnis due to his past, although he is the strongest candidate to face Hezbollah, preferring to search for a third candidate".

LebanonMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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