BEIRUT — Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil and Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari congratulated Teymour Joumblatt on his election as the new head of the Progressive Socialist Party on Sunday, according to local media.
In a phone call with Joumblatt, Bukhari reportedly said a “historic relationship binds the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]" and the PSP.
Local media reported that Bassil wished the younger Joumblatt "success on the personal and party level, and [hoped for] the best cooperation on a national level."
Bassil and Teymour Joumblatt allegedly agreed, during the phone call, to "continue coordination and communication."
The FPM leader also congratulated former MP Walid Joumblatt, expressing to him "all good wishes for a quiet transition to the leadership of the party, and wishing for cooperation for the good of the country."
Chouf MP Teymour Joumblatt officially assumed the reins of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) on Sunday, succeeding his father, longtime Druze leader Walid Joumblatt, who announced his withdrawal from the party’s presidency and its executive committee last month.
"Go forward and don't be afraid. God is with you,” Walid Joumblatt told his son in a speech following Teymour's election, to rapturous applause.
In 2017, Walid Joumblatt symbolically placed the black-and-white-checkered keffiyeh on his son's shoulders before a crowd in Moukhtara, designating him as his successor. A year later, Teymour was elected deputy and headed the party's parliamentary group. In the 2022 legislative elections, he won more votes and retained his seat.
Walid's intention to give his son the last word on political issues had been mentioned several times in recent years. Last year, Teymour delivered the speech marking the commemoration of Kamal Joumblatt's assassination to a crowd of supporters.
In early May, after a meeting in Ain al-Tineh with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the elder Joumblatt declared, in response to several political questions, that "the future lies with Teymour."
The enthronement of the young Teymour Joumblatt comes at a time when negotiations are in full swing for Lebanon's next president. Walid Joumblatt had repeatedly criticized the candidacy of Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh, backed by Hezbollah and Amal Movement.
Their opponents, including the PSP, backed Zgharta MP Michel Moawad before endorsing former Finance Minister Jihad Azour.
Additional reporting by Lyana Alameddine
BEIRUT — Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil and Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari congratulated Teymour Joumblatt on his election as the new head of the Progressive Socialist Party on Sunday, according to local media.In a phone call with Joumblatt, Bukhari reportedly said a “historic relationship binds the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]" and the PSP.Local media reported...