In the midst of the political crisis, Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai met with Deputy Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Elias Bou Saab at the Patriarchate's headquarters in Bkerki Tuesday evening.
Last week, the Vatican and France requested that Rai engage in dialogue with all concerned parties, including Hezbollah, to resolve the presidential vacancy.
According to the National News Agency, during the meeting, Bou Saab was informed of the "mechanism" of the dialogue initiative. The patriarch has delegated several bishops to meet several political leaders involved in the presidential election.
In particular, Rai sent the Bishop of Beirut, Boulos Abdel Sater, to meet Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, as per a statement published on Sunday by the patriarchate.
At the end of his visit, Bou Saab expressed his willingness to "continue his meetings for consultations" with Rai.
On a similar note, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri has called a parliamentary election session set for next Wednesday. The contenders of the session are presidential candidates Sleiman Frangieh — favored by Hezbollah and Amal — and Jihad Azour, a former Finance Minister and a current regional director at the International Monetary Fund. Azour's candidacy is supported by several opposition parties and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).