Dialogue continues between Lebanese government and Jumblatt, Hariri
Lebanon, Politics, 11/6/1999
The Syrian leadership has succeeded in preparing a political atmosphere that will ensure contacts between Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Lebanese opposition factions, especially former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who will visit the Lebanese presidential palace in Baabda tomorrow, and the chairman of the Lebanese Social Progressive Party, Walid Jumblatt. These, however, are to establish natural relations.
In this respect, a Lebanese official told the London-based al-Hayat daily that he heard a clear statement from Syrian officials in that, "Damascus' mission is confined to asphalting the road between the two sides and will not allow itself to play the role of the driver. Which means that the Syrian officials refuse deliberately to interfere in the internal details and rather leave it for sides concerned to follow these details up. And that what is of most concern to the Syrians is that all (Lebanese sides) are committing themselves to national principles, a thing which pleases the Syrians."
President Lahoud was among the first to be aware of the political signals launched by Damascus. He expressed these signals in the "open" positioons he has advocated for two weeks, besides the response shown by Hariri and Jumblatt, despite the fact that dialogue between the latter and President Lahoud had started more than one week earlier.
Lahoud's positions came as an encouragement for dialogue, especially in sending two positive signals to Hariri. The first was heard by Jumblatt during his visit to Baabda, and the second positive signal was conveyed by member of the parliamentary national decision bloc, Agob Dimirjian.
The two signals were also positively met by Hariri, who told several politicians he has all appreciation and respect for the president of the republic and expressed his readiness to cooperate.
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