Berri: New Govt. Must Distance Lebanon from Region Events, Represent All Forces

Speaker Nabih Berri on Friday called for a new government that would “distance Lebanon from the ongoing developments in the region” and “represent all of Lebanon's forces.”

“We are seeking a government that would distance Lebanon from the ongoing developments in the region, a government with independent decisions based on national unity,” Berri said in a speech in Baalbek marking the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Moussa al-Sadr, the founder of the AMAL Movement.

“Lebanon's government must represent all of Lebanon's parliamentary forces,” the Speaker stressed.

He also hoped the obstacles delaying the government's formation will be resolved in the expected meeting between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

As for the thorny issue of restoring ties with Damascus, Berri said: “We're awaiting a political solution for the refugee file after the formation of the government and we need official dialogue between the governments of the two countries.”

Separately, Berri said some forces “are trying to stage a coup” against the “resistant, patriotic Shiite duo,” in reference to AMAL and Hizbullah.

“They are desperately trying to drive a wedge between AMAL and Hizbullah,” Berri added, noting that such an attempt has no chance of success.

Turning to the security file in the Bekaa region, the Speaker announced that AMAL and Hizbullah are “lifting the cover off every wrongdoer, offender or drug dealer.”

“On behalf of our two parliamentary blocs I call for issuing a calculated general amnesty that excludes homicides and attacks on security forces,” he added.

“We call for dropping the arrest warrants through the law... We stress our confidence in the army and the security forces to preserve Bekaa's security, but the pressing situations in the Bekaa require developmental projects,” Berri went on to say.

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