BEIRUT — President Michel Aoun's call for a national dialogue with political leaders will remain open, his office wrote in a statement Thursday, noting that those who refuse to be part of it “bear responsibility for the consequences of the continued total obstruction of authorities.”
Here’s what we know:
• After Aoun’s consultations with several political groups, only Hezbollah and a few parties aligned to the Shiite party were in favor of the national dialogue. Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, Progressive Socialist Party head Walid Joumblatt, Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh and Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea rejected the president’s appeal.
• “The positions of some ranged between refusing to consult and rejecting dialogue,” the statement issued by the president’s office read.
• Aoun’s office held politicians boycotting the national dialogue responsible for people's money loss and the state’s loss of its resources. Lebanon is presently confronting one of the worst economic crises in modern history, with its national currency having lost more than 95 percent of its value since 2019.
• Launched on Dec. 27, Aoun's call for dialogue is an attempt to address a list of issues, including he national defense strategy, the economic recovery plan, and administrative and financial decentralization.
• The statement added that cabinet stagnation is a “deliberate obstruction of the recovery plan, without which there is no aid or reforms, and this in itself is an unforgivable crime against the people.”
• Lebanon’s cabinet has not met for three months due to internal disagreements over the future of the 2020 Beirut blast probe.