Jumblatt and Nasrallah chit-chat

A day following the collapse of the Lebanese government, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt met with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Jumblatt described as “excellent” his meeting with Nasrallah but denied they had discussed the naming of a nominee for the premiership.

Jumblatt said in An-Nahar newspaper’s Friday edition that he is making a wide round of consultations regarding the naming of the next premier after “elements entered and aborted the Saudi-Syrian compromise.”

“This initiative’s articles must be implemented in spite of what has happened, and there is no running away from it.”

Also on Friday, As-Safir newspaper quoted Jumblatt as saying that his stance on naming a premier will be determined through consultations. The daily reported that Jumblatt will “visit Damascus within the next 24 hours to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian officials.”

As-Safir quoted an anonymous source as saying that Jumblatt “has determined his final stance on recent developments and informed Nasrallah of it in their meeting yesterday.”

According to Future Movement official Mustafa Allouch, if the March 8 coalition names someone other than Prime Minister Saad Hariri to become the country’s new premier, tension will continue.

Such a move would show that March 8 wants to cause strife in Lebanon, he told MTV on Thursday.

“It is normal for March 8 to violate written agreements… Pledges do not mean anything to them… You cannot [trust] March 8’s promises and pledges, particularly Hezbollah’s.”

Al-Manar television reported yesterday that the Hezbollah chief will address latest developments in Lebanon soon.

According to LBCI television he will make a speech this evening.

Meanwhile, after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in France on Thursday, Hariri headed to Turkey.

He will meet at 10 a.m. with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, said a statement released by the PM’s office.

Hariri has not yet made any statement regarding the collapse of the Lebanese government.

Lebanon's unity government collapsed Wednesday after Hezbollah and its allies pulled their 10 ministers from cabinet and one minister close to President Michel Sleiman announced his withdrawal, providing the necessary number of resignations for the government to fall.

Hezbollah and its allies have for months been pressing Hariri to disavow the STL – probing the 2005 murder of former PM Rafik Hariri– on the grounds that it is part of a US-Israeli plot that will indict Hezbollah members.

Saudi and Syrian officials were reportedly communicating before the collapse in an effort to reach a compromise that would resolve Lebanese tensions.

-NOW Lebanon