Reports: Hizbullah-Mustaqbal Dialogue Starts Tuesday

The much-anticipated dialogue between Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal movement is scheduled to start on Tuesday, media reports said, although Speaker Nabih Berri did not confirm the date.

Local dailies published on Monday said the representatives of the two parties will meet in Ain el-Tineh under Berri, who will later withdraw from the talks to pave way for the rivals to discuss controversial issues.

Nader Hariri, who is the adviser of al-Mustaqbal movement chief Saad Hariri, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq and MP Samir al-Jisr are expected to represent al-Mustaqbal in the talks.

Hussein Khalil, the aide of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Industry Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan and MP Hassan Fadlallah will likely be Hizbullah's representatives.

Despite the reports that the dialogue's first session will take place on Tuesday, Berri reiterated that the talks will be held before the New Year.

He told his visitors on Sunday that he will only preside the first session. Berri did not rule out the presence of his aide Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil in all the sessions.

“The most important aspect of it (the dialogue) is direct contact between the two sides without the interference of a mediator,” he said.

“The dialogue will be serious and we will work on its productivity,” Berri told his visitors.

He stressed that the talks will help ease tension between Sunnis and Shiites in the country.

Berri said the dialogue's agenda will be open except for certain issues that the two sides have agreed to keep aside, such as the Syrian crisis and the arsenal of the resistance.

“It's natural to discuss about the presidential crisis from the aspect of (finding) a consensual president and not dealing with names,” he said.

Lebanon has been without a head of state since President Michel Suleiman's six-year term ended in May over differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances.

Al-Mustaqbal is at odds with Hizbullah over its involvement in Syria's civil war. The party has sent its members to fight alongside troops loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking to topple him.

The movement has also repeatedly called on Hizbullah to hand over its weapons to the Lebanese state similar to what the country's militias did at the end of the civil war.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.