The upcoming meeting between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Lebanese Prime Minister Designate Saad Hariri constitutes a major political chapter in the context of Hariri’s Arab and international consultations.
According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the Egyptian leadership “does not recommend that Hariri abstain from forming a government.”
The Egyptian position coincides with Russia's, who also voiced its support for Hariri forming the next Lebanese government when the PM met with the Russian envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov.
Egypt and Russia are not unique in this position, with a number of countries in the region calling for the PM to form a government.
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat quoted a former Lebanese prime minister, who preferred to not be named, that “Hariri has not made the decision to abstain from forming a government, and if this decision is an option, it will be preceded by political developments.”
The former prime minister added that “Lebanese President Michel Aoun is counting on Hariri to not form a government, as he did with former prime minister-designate Mustafa Adib, who refused to include Aoun’s political heir, Representative Gibran Bassil.”
He also said that “a meeting of former prime ministers discussed the idea of naming an alternative to Hariri, but it was rejected,” because they refused “to let Aoun — who has been known to obstruct the formation of a Lebanese government — have his way, as the Lebanese Parliament had previously rewarded him by electing him as president after he disrupted the presidential elections for two years with the support of his ally, Hezbollah”.