Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Michel Aoun 'optimistic' about dialogue with Samir Geagea

BEIRUT: Reflecting on progress made towards the anticipated dialogue with Christian arch foe Samir Geagea, MP Michel AounWednesday was quick to acknowledge challenges, but expressed optimism about overcoming them.

"I am optimistic about dialogue with the Lebanese Forces, but there are difficulties that we need time to discuss,” Aoun told local newspaper Al-Akhbar.

Aoun acknowledged he had made some concessions to Samir Geagea, saying: “We are facing a national crisis. I [make concessions] in order to get out of the crisis.”

“I did not only offer an opportunity to Geagea alone. I have given reunion many chances. There are those who remain, and those who do not complete the road.”

“The presidency is not in his pocket," Aoun said. “Either Geagea or me, but he may have luck to become president.”

Geagea has said that Lebanon should not expect a "love story" to arise from the ongoing rapprochement between him and Aoun, whose relationship is marked by 30 years of conflict.

“Like all love stories, [it is about] a gaze, a smile, a date then a meeting,” the Lebanese Forces leader said last week on his anticipated dialogue with Aoun. “We are still in the gaze and smile stage.”