Saudi says it hopes Lebanese presidency filled soon

Newly elected head of the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, right, stands next to a portrait of Christian leader Michel Aoun during a rally near the presidential palace in the Beirut suburb of Baabda, Lebanon, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (AP)

Saudi Arabia backs a Lebanese proposal that would result in Suleiman Franjieh becoming president of Lebanon after an 18-month presidential vacuum, and hopes it will happen soon, the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon said on Thursday.

“The initiative is a Lebanese one, not a Saudi one, and we bless it and we encourage a result from the dialogue underway among the Christian leaders,” Ali Awad Asiri said in a televised news conference.

Asked whether Saudi Arabia could support Franjieh, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Shiite group Hezbollah, Asiri said that as long as the candidate was Lebanese and picked by Lebanese, he would have Saudi blessing regardless of affiliation.
 

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