Berri Snaps Back at Hariri, Saying Order to Bring Down Government Came from U.S. Not Syria

Speaker Nabih Berri snapped back at former Premier Saad Hariri on Monday rejecting accusations that Syria and Iran have brought down his government.

Hariri said Saturday that "enormous" pressure from outside Lebanon was to blame for the collapse of his cabinet earlier this month.

The aim was to "change the rules of the democratic game," he said in a statement issued by his al-Mustaqbal movement.

But in remarks published in As Safir and An Nahar newspapers on Monday, Berri said the March 8 forces hadn’t received in the past 30 years the respect that Hariri got from Damascus in the past few months.

“It is true that there was a foreign order,” Berri said about Hariri’s remarks. “But it came from America to obstruct the Syrian-Saudi agreement that was almost complete before ex-PM Saad Hariri’s visit to the U.S. and his meeting with President Barack Obama.”

Berri said he expected the formation of a mixed politicians-technocrat cabinet and stressed the March 8 forces would nominate ministers that would facilitate Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s mission “because we are keen on cooperating with him.”

Stressing that he still backs giving the March 14 forces a chance to announce their decision on the participation in the government, Berri told the dailies that his AMAL movement and Hizbullah have agreed to divide the Shiite shares among themselves.

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