Jumblat Slams 'Campaign to Stir Tensions' with Hariri, Meets Him after Rift
Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Progressive Socialist Party chief ex-MP Walid Jumblat held talks Thursday evening at the Center House, after the latest war of words between them was contained.
“We will discuss topics that we disagree on and others that we agree on,” said Jumblat upon his arrival at the Center House.
Commenting on leaks and media reports that preceded the meeting, Jumblat said they were “part of a systematic campaign to stir tensions.”
“I'm not responsible for them,” he added.
According to LBCI television, Hariri will host Jumblat over dinner.
A PSP delegation had visited the Center House weeks ago in a bid to pacify the rhetoric between the once-close allies.
In a recent interview with An-Nahar newspaper, Hariri emphasized that there is no “dispute” with Jumblat and that the PSP leader “does not know how much I'm on his side.”
“There is a war on me as well, not only on Walid Jumblat, and the dispute between us emboldens the others while accord between us deters them,” Hariri added.
Jumblat had escalated his rhetoric against Hariri and Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil in the wake of the formation of the new government.
The PSP leader criticized the manner in which the Cabinet was formed, decrying perceived “unilateralism” and disregard for the Taef Accord and the premiership post, which sparked an unprecedented exchange of tirades with Hariri on Twitter.
Jumblat was reportedly dismayed after Hariri failed to tell him that Ghassan Atallah would become the new minister of the displaced during their meeting on the eve of the government's formation and also did not tell him that the third Druze seat, which Jumblat ceded, would go to Saleh al-Gharib, an ally of Damascus.