Khalil: Berri Won’t Partake in Arab Economic Summitإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
MP Anwar al-Khalil, a member of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's AMAL Movement, revealed on Friday that Berri is not going to participate in Beirut’s Economic and Social Development Summit.
In remarks he made to VDL radio (93.3), Khalil said the Speaker will not attend the summit: “Several state leaders have apologized for not being able to attend the summit, which is going to affect the attendance quality. The reasons are many, but the most important reason is that Lebanon still has no government.”
Khalil added stressing the need to push the government formation process forward, saying “Lebanon’s failure to form the government affected the level of participation in the summit.”
Earlier, Berri suggested the summit be postponed due to the absence of a fully functioning government.
A lot of Arab countries have announced that their rulers will not attend the January 19-20 summit. Media reports said the summit will be attended by only four heads of states.
And as Egypt said its prime minister will represent the country, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apologized Wednesday for not being able to attend the summit and so did Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Libya has meanwhile decided to boycott the summit in protest at an “insult” addressed to its flag which was removed from a pole near the summit's venue and eventually burned at the hands of supporters of Berri's AMAL Movement. Threats were also addressed to the Libyan delegation and a number of Libyan businessmen were reportedly barred from entering Lebanon via Beirut's airport.
Berri and AMAL have protested against the invitation of Libya in connection with the 1978 disappearance of AMAL founder Imam Moussa al-Sadr, a revered Shiite cleric. The former regime of slain Libyan leader Moammar al-Gadhafi is accused of kidnapping him. Berri and AMAL have argued that the new Libyan authorities have not exerted enough efforts to unveil his fate.
Syria will not attend the summit seeing as its membership of the Arab League is still suspended.