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In Brewing Crisis with Hariri, Jumblatt Warns against Renouncing Taef Accord

In Brewing Crisis with Hariri, Jumblatt Warns against Renouncing Taef Accord

Monday, 4 February, 2019 - 08:00
PSP chief Walid Jumblatt chairs a Democratic Gathering meeting in Beirut on Sunday. (NNA)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblatt said Sunday that Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil has already laid out the main ideas of the new government’s policy statement and the upcoming period in Lebanon by “challenging the Taef Accord and playing with fire.”

He also warned of a major crisis in the country should “Prime Minster Saad Hariri renounce the accord.”

Following a meeting of the Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc in Beirut, Jumblatt, indirectly referring to Bassil, remarked: “We have noticed unilateralism in the formation of the government as if the premiership was almost absent.”

Despite his criticism, he said he would not withdraw his ministers from the newly formed government, but would rather adopt a policy of “confrontation.”

On Thursday, Hariri announced his 30-member government following nine months of bickering among political forces over shares.

The PSP leader uncovered that a delegation from the Democratic Gathering would soon visit the PM, President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri to discuss the “fate of the Taef Accord.”

Jumbatt’s comments came amid a crisis that emerged between the Druze leader and both Hariri and Bassil following the formation of the government.

Hariri on Sunday responded to Jumblatt without naming him.

"The comments that try to undermine the Presidency of the Council of Ministers’ performance in dealing with the government crisis are attempts to divert attention from the problems that these sides are facing and the concessions that they were the first to offer,” a statement from Hariri’s office said Sunday.

It added that the Council of Ministers, “which is entrusted to preserve the Taef and the powers vested in it by the Constitution, will not be anyone’s scapegoat and it does not need lessons on constitutional obligations.”

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