PARIS (AFP) – Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt met here for the first time in 20 years with his former wartime archfoe and now an ally in the opposition, exiled former Prime minister and army leader Michel Aoun, a spokesman for Aoun told AFP.  The two men “called for the opposition to join the government that will be formed soon under prime minister designate Nagib Miqati,” said spokesman Simon Abiramia. “They insisted that the opposition needs to be united in order to achieve common goals” during the 30-minute meeting in Aoun’s Paris residence, he said. Jumblatt, who has been on a visit to France since Wednesday, and Aoun are two key figures of the Lebanese opposition leading the campaign seeking to end Syria’s military and political dominance of the country.

During the 1975-1990 civil war, Jumblatt’s militia engaged in fierce battles with Lebanese army units then under the command of Aoun.

Aoun ran a military government before being ousted and forced into exile in France in 1990 by a Syrian-led offensive in the closing stages of the Lebanese civil strife.

On April 10, his nephew and close aide announced that the exiled leader planned to return to Lebanon on May 7, after the Syrians complete their troop pullout, in order to prepare for legislative elections.

Pro-Syrian Miqati was named Lebanon’s new prime minister earlier Friday and vowed to form a cabinet to oversee elections and promote national unity to pull the country out of a deep political crisis.