Ferzli Says Berri May Meet Assad Soon

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri could soon meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli has said.

“A meeting between Speaker Nabih Berri and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is possible at any given moment,” Ferzli said in an interview with al-Mayadeen television.

His remarks follow a visit to Ain el-Tineh by Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali.

“There is speculation that Speaker Berri could go to Damascus before or after the rally that the AMAL Movement will organize tomorrow at 5:30 pm in Baalbek to mark the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of the movement's founder Imam Moussa al-Sadr,” al-Liwaa newspaper reported.

Berri has not met with al-Assad since the eruption of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

Ferzli also told al-Mayadeen that “President Michel Aoun's decision to meet with whomever he wants, including Assad, is a sovereign decision.”

“The ties between presidents Aoun and Assad have never been severed and the ties between Lebanon and Syria are historic and pivotal,” Ferzli, who is close to Aoun and Damascus, added.

“We only want the relation with Syria to serve Lebanon's interest before anything else and the Lebanese-Syrian relation will not resemble the previous era at all,” Ferzling went on to say, noting that “Lebanon will not be a corridor or a launchpad for conspiracies against Syria and vice versa.”

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