Bassil leaked audio after failed 'presidential deal' with Berri

18 November, 2022
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Bassil leaked audio after failed 'presidential deal' with Berri

Free Patriotic Movement Jebran Bassil had met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, days before a leaked audio of Bassil speaking in Paris infuriated the speaker, media reports said.

Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Friday that the meeting happened away from the media, after Bassil contacted the Charge d'Affaires at the Embassy of Lebanon in Qatar, Farah Berri, and asked her to arrange a meeting between him and Berri.

The two leaders met at the start of this week as Berri welcomed Bassil's initiative to start "a new chapter."

But few days after the alleged meeting, in a leaked audio from Paris, Bassil said that electing Marada leader Suleiman Franjieh as a president would bring Lebanon back to the nineties.

"We will move from a Berri-Hariri-Hrawi troika to a Berri-Mikati-Franjieh troika," he said.

Berri responded, shortly after the audio was leaked, that the situation in 1990 was better than the Aoun-Bassil-Jreissati era of the past six years.

Bassil's statements also embarrassed Hezbollah as its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had mediated between Bassil and Franjieh, al-Akhbar said, adding that Bassil has complicated the situation, especially that Hezbollah still considers that no candidate can reach Baabda without Bassil's consent.

Al-Jadeed TV reported Friday that Bassil attacked the speaker from Paris and leaked the audio after he failed to make a presidential deal with Berri during their meeting on Tuesday.

It claimed that Bassil had suggested to agree with Berri on a presidential candidate other than Franjieh. Bassil would secure Bkerki's approval on the name before proposing it to the other parties. Hezbollah would then back Berri and Bassil's candidate when it will realize that it is impossible for Franjieh to become a president.

The media outlet added that Berri refused, advising Bassil to discuss the presidential file with Nasrallah and to agree with him on the candidate. Berri would then approve the name that Bassil and Nasrallah would agree on.

Bassil had arrived Wednesday in Paris to discuss with French officials presidential, governmental and economic matters, media reports said.

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