Reports: Hezbollah not opposed to appointment of new army chief


Hezbollah has become more inclined to accept the choice of naming a new army commander, a move that the Free Patriotic Movement is insisting on, the pro-Hezbollah al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Friday.

Hezbollah “is not opposed to the appointment of a new army chief should there be consensus over the name,” the daily added.

The Nidaa al-Watan newspaper meanwhile reported that Hezbollah and the Amal Movement have informed caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati that the two parties are not opposed to any of the two choices: naming a new chief or extending the term of the incumbent commander, General Joseph Aoun.

“They have asked Mikati to wait for some time, because the consultations have been renewed with (FPM chief Jebran) Bassil to convince him to drop the condition of (having the) signatures (of all 24 ministers on the decree) if he wants the appointment of a new commander,” the daily said.

“Some reports have confirmed that a preliminary agreement has been reached under which a new commander would be named, after Bassil gave up the condition of the 24 ministers’ signatures,” the newspaper added.

Also under the agreement, “defense Minister Maurice Slim would submit a basket of suggestions for the military appointments,” Nidaa al-Watan said.

Mikati is meanwhile trying to explore the stance of the Americans regarding such a choice, the daily added.