Berri Issues Warning against Paralysis, Says Dialogue Ongoing

Speaker Nabih Berri has warned that the country can no longer bear the consequences of paralysis, saying the verbal feud between the rival parties would not have an impact on their dialogue.

“The situation can no longer tolerate a government or parliamentary paralysis and contacts and efforts are being made to guarantee a cabinet session and an extraordinary legislative session to adopt urgent draft-laws,” Berri told several local dailies published on Monday.

“The country cannot tolerate the repercussions of a further delay in adopting them or abolishing them, particularly that some of the draft-laws are linked to agreements made between Lebanon and some international financial institutions,” he said.

Lebanon has been witnessing a vacuum at Baabda Palace since the term of President Michel Suleiman ended in May last year. The presidential deadlock has caused a paralysis at the parliament, which is not able to convene over lack of quorum to elect a head of state or legislate, and a cabinet paralysis.

Berri revealed that a new round of dialogue between al-Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah on Monday will focus on the paralysis of the executive and legislative branches.

Asked whether the strong rhetoric adopted by the two parties' officials lately would have severe repercussions on the 13th round of talks, the speaker said: “The two sides are bickering … but the dialogue is ongoing.”

“It is true that the talks did not make major achievements in the past two sessions, but they are necessary to protect the security situation,” he told the dailies.

Berri stressed that Lebanon is enjoying a “minimal” security stability, which was guaranteed by the dialogue, despite the “violent” verbal feud.

The talks between al-Mustaqbal and Hizbullah kicked off in December under Berri's auspices at his residence in Ain el-Tineh to reduce sectarian and political tension.

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