Berri Tells Kushner Billions of Dollars Won't 'Tempt Lebanon'
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday voiced the first Lebanese response to remarks on the proposed U.S. peace place by Jared Kushner, the U.S. president’s son-in-law and adviser.
“So that some don’t interpret the official Lebanese silence as an acceptance of the poisoned proposal, we stress that the only investment that will not find ripe ground in Lebanon would be any investment that comes at the expense of Palestine’s cause and the rights of the Palestinian people,” Berri said in a statement released by his office.
“Mistaken are those who think that waving billions of dollars might tempt Lebanon… to bow or bargain over its constant and nonnegotiable principles, topped by the rejection of (refugee) naturalization, which we will resist with our Palestinian brothers through all legitimate resistance means,” the Speaker added.
Kushner said Saturday that the U.S. Middle East peace plan to be presented next week in Bahrain aims to raise more than $50 billion for the Palestinians and create one million jobs for them within a decade.
The 10-year plan calls for projects worth $27.5 billion in the West Bank and Gaza, and $9.1 billion, $7.4 billion and $6.3 billion for Palestinians in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, respectively.
Projects envisioned include those in the health care, education, power, water, high-tech, tourism, and agriculture sectors.
It calls for the creation of a "master fund" to administer the finances and implementation of the projects that is says are akin to the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II.