Former Lebanese president Amin Jmayel has announced his return to Lebanon on Sunday after eight years of exile in France.
Jmayel, who left Lebanon after receiving threats, said he decided to return after public assurances from leading Lebanese political figures, including President Emile Lahoud, Prime Minister Salim Hoss and in particular Justice Minister Joseph Shaoul.
The former president, quoted Saturday by Lebanese newspapers, said he was "ready to open a dialogue with any Lebanese or non-Lebanese faction."
He had planned to travel to Lebanon two weeks ago for a ceremony in Damascus honoring late Syrian president Hafez Assad, but the Lebanese ambassador in Paris quickly told him that his invitation was "a protocol error" by the Syrian government.
Jmayel said he found "no logical explanation" for what happened.
Hoss later said the incident was a misunderstanding and stressed that he had "nothing against any Lebanese nationals coming to Lebanon; it's their right and nothing can stop them."
Jmayel had an antagonistic relationship with Assad and other Syrian leaders when he led Lebanon from 1982 to 1988. He left for France at the end of his term - BEIRUT (AFP)
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