Berri Renews Paralysis Warning, Calls for Unity to Confront Region's 'Storms'

Speaker Nabih Berri renewed his warning against the paralysis of state institutions and hoped that the move of Jihadists on Baghdad would trigger unity among the Lebanese rival parties to confront any possible repercussion.

In remarks to several local newspapers published on Friday, Berri reiterated his criticism of the MPs boycotting parliamentary sessions.

He stressed that the parliament's bureau has a duty to set the agenda of the sessions. “The issue does not need to be faced with boycott or paralysis.”

Most Christian MPs have been boycotting parliamentary sessions on a controversial wage scale. Al-Mustaqbal has backed them, claiming their move is aimed at sending a message of protest against the failure to elect a new president.

The country's top Christian post was left vacant at Baabda Palace on May 25 after the rival lawmakers were incapable of electing a successor to President Michel Suleiman over their differences on a compromise candidate.

Despite the boycott, Berri vowed “not to back off” from his proposal on the approval of the pay raise.

He called for a 10 percent reduction in the scale, reiterating that al-Mustaqbal bloc had approved such a suggestion.

Despite his claim, al-Mustaqbal said on Wednesday that it had not agreed with Berri on numbers in the scale.

Asked about the latest security developments in Iraq, Berri said: “I hope what's going on there would be an incentive to unite and protect Lebanon from the storms in the region.”

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who has swept up a huge swathe of predominantly Sunni Arab territory in northern and north-central Iraq since launching their offensive in the second city Mosul late on Monday, advanced into ethnically divided Diyala province.

Late Thursday, they captured the Jalawla and Saadiyah areas of the province, whose mixed Arab, Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite population has made it a byword for violence ever since the 2003 overthrow of Sunni Arab dictator Saddam Hussein.

ISIL is a movement so radical that has been disavowed even by the al-Qaida leadership.



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