Saudi says it hopes Lebanese presidency filled soon

Newly elected head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, right, stands next to a portrait of Christian leader Michel Aoun during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015.

Newly elected head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, right, stands next to a portrait of Christian leader Michel Aoun during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015.


Saudi Arabia backs a Lebanese proposal that would result in Suleiman Franjieh becoming president of Lebanon after an 18-month presidential vacuum, and hopes it will happen soon, the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon said on Thursday.

“The initiative is a Lebanese one, not a Saudi one, and we bless it and we encourage a result from the dialogue underway among the Christian leaders,” Ali Awad Asiri said in a televised news conference.

Asked whether Saudi Arabia could support Franjieh, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Shiite group Hezbollah, Asiri said that as long as the candidate was Lebanese and picked by Lebanese, he would have Saudi blessing regardless of affiliation.


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