Berri Hopes LF Would Attend Dialogue

Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed hope that the Lebanese Forces would announce its support for the dialogue session that he has called for.

“If (LF chief Samir) Geagea decided not to participate in the dialogue, then I would understand his stance because he hadn't participated in the previous all-party talks under the chairmanship of former President Michel Suleiman at Baabda Palace,” Berri told his visitors.

“In addition, Geagea doesn't have representatives in the government,” said the speaker, whose remarks were published in several newspapers on Friday.

“If he decided to attend, then I will be glad” about his decision, Berri added.

Geagea is expected to announce his stance on Saturday. All other parties that were invited to the dialogue said they would attend the talks.

The speaker, who also heads Amal Movement, reiterated that the presidential deadlock tops the agenda of the talks.

The rival parties are expected to discuss ways to end the vacuum at Baabda Palace, the resumption of the work of parliament and the cabinet, a new electoral draft-law, legislation allowing Lebanese expats to obtain the nationality, administrative decentralization and ways to support the army and the Internal Security Forces.

The speaker stressed to his visitors that the agenda of the talks is “neither the Qoran nor the Bible. The conferees can start discussing any of the items.”

But he said that an agreement on the presidential crisis would facilitate discussion on the rest of the issues.



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