Berri Calls on Hariri to Return to Lebanon to Facilitate Resumption of Dialogueإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri urged former Prime Minister and the head of Mustaqbal movement Saad Hariri to return to Lebanon, pointing out that he is ready to reconsider Hariri's reappointment as a premier.
“Hariri must return to Lebanon to facilitate the resumption of the dialogue so that we cooperate to face the current challenges,” Berri said in comments published in local newspapers on Monday.
“I think Hariri can stay at the Center House if he has security fears,” the speaker said.
Asked if Hariri would reconsider running for the premiership again, Berri said: “We can reconsider the matter.”
The March 8 majority led by Hizbullah, backed by some of Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat’s 12-member National Struggle Front parliamentary bloc, brought PM Najib Miqati to the premiership after Hariri’s national unity cabinet was toppled.
Concerning the process of the cabinet formation, Berri lashed out at PM-designate Tammam Salam, saying: “His insistence on forming an equally divided government is useless.”
The AMAL leader expressed surprise at Salam's insistence to deal with the March 8 alliance as one bloc, despite “my previous statement that Hizbullah and I will negotiate alone as (Free Patriotic Movement leader) MP Michel Aoun decided to negotiate alone.”
Berri had previously informed the PM-designate that his Amal movement would negotiate separately with Salam on its shares. But Salam allegedly told him that he would consider the March 8 alliance of FPM, Hizbullah and Amal as a single coalition that would get 8 ministers in a 24-member cabinet.
Salam insists on giving the March 14 alliance, the centrists and March 8 coalition 8 ministers each. He also wants a cabinet of non provocative political figures.
“We are no longer a one team in dealing with local issues over our disputes, which should have facilitated the formation of the cabinet,” Berri said in his comments.
The speaker lashed out at Salam, saying: “He demands us to deal with him as a centrist and not part of the March 14 coalition but he rejects to admit that the March 8 alliance is no longer one entity.”
“AMAL and Hizbullah's share is five ministers at the cabinet and we will not accept anything else,” Berri said.
He praised Jumblat's stances that call for the formation of a unity cabinet.
“If it wasn't for Jumblat's stance a de facto government would have been formed,” he added.
Berri also lauded Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's speech, stressing that dialogue is a necessity amid the “dangerous” situation the region and Lebanon are passing through.
Nasrallah said on Friday that Hizbullah is willing to engage in national dialogue over a national defense strategy “without any preconditions.”
He during the annual iftar banquet held by the Islamic Resistance Support Association said his party will resume dialogue “before or after the formation of the new cabinet, because we are honest in seeking to protect our country.”