Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Friday afternoon Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Yildiz Palace in Istanbul. The meeting lasted an hour and a half, with talks focusing on the situation in Lebanon, the repercussions of the Syrian crisis and the latest developments in the region.
On emerging, Hariri said: “I had the privilege of meeting with President Erdogan. We discussed the problems in the region, especially what is happening in Syria. We believe that Turkey can play a big role in stabilizing the region. I also explained to the President the impact of the presidential vacuum on the situation in Lebanon, particularly the economic and political life. We also talked about the Iranian role in the region. We want good relations with Iran, but its negative meddling in the countries of the region is preventing these good relations. We will continue the discussion with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu”.
Question: Moscow yesterday and Turkey today, what is the object of your efforts?
Hariri: What I want is for Lebanon to remain on the map and for everyone to know that the country is suffering on several fronts, one of which is the number of Syrian refugees. I discussed this with President Erdogan and he explained to me that Turkey suffers from the same problem. So we agreed to cooperate to urge the international community to help more in this regard.
Question: Did you campaign for MP Suleiman Frangieh in Moscow and today in Turkey?
Hariri: I did not campaign for a person, but the meeting focused on explaining what is happening in Lebanon. Everyone knows that the socio-economic situation has reached serious stages. This is the reality we are explaining to these countries, and we are trying to show that Lebanon needs help on the issue of refugees.
Question: Some have suggested electing a president for two years, but you rejected it. What if Bkirki proposes this solution and it solves the vacuum?
Hariri: No one talked to me about this suggestion, I only heard about it in the media. The Lebanese Constitution is clear, it stipulates that a president’s term is six years, and any other matter requires a constitutional amendment. From here, we see that we should not resort to partial solutions but to durable solutions that address the country’s problems. Lebanon has been without a president for almost two years and the country has been suffering during this period. If we elect a president for two years, we would have the same problem two years later.
Question: Is there a French initiative, especially after the recent visit of President Hollande to Beirut?
Hariri: No one informed me of anything.
Source: National News Agency