Reconciliation meeting to be held in tandem with economy discussions

The meeting, according to sources, will include President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
by Georgi Azar

9 August 2019 | 16:46

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 9 August 2019 | 16:46

Speaker Nabih Berri, President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri pictured at the Baabda Presidential Palace on Friday, August 9, 2019 (NNA)

BEIRUT: More than a month after the deadly incident in Aley, the Baabda Palace is expected to host on Friday a reconciliation meeting between Druze rivals Walid Jumblatt and Talal Arslan.

The meeting, according to sources, will include President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Tweeting ahead of the sitdown, Arslan described the meeting as "a meeting of frankness which could be transformed into a reconciliation."

Hariri had suspended all Cabinet meetings pending a reconciliation, despite President Michel Aoun lobbying for a session to take place. The Free Patriotic Movement, along with Arslan's Lebanese Democratic Party, had sought to refer the case to the Judicial Council.

Earlier on Friday, top Lebanese officials met at Baabda Palace to discuss Lebanon's economy following the implementation of the 2019 state budget.

Aoun, Hariri and Berri were reportedly joined by Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Economy Minister Mansour Bteich and chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon Salim Sfeir among other officials.

The budget, which includes a number of austerity measures, aims at curbing Lebanon's deficit to 7 percent of gross domestic product, down from 11.1 percent last year.

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