Al-Rahi Meets 3 Presidents, Proposes Solution for Bitar Standoff
Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi on Tuesday held meetings with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and PM Najib Miqati, during which he proposed a “solution” to resolve the political standoff over Judge Tarek Bitar’s investigations into the Beirut port blast.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Aoun, al-Rahi said “there is a convincing constitutional and legal solution for the current crisis,” noting that Aoun, Berri and Miqati have agreed to the proposal.
“This solution needs to be implemented as soon as possible, after which the Cabinet would resume its meetings,” the patriarch added.
“Things must not be resolved on the streets and we saw what happens when things reach the streets,” al-Rahi said.
MTV meanwhile reported that al-Rahi’s “solution” is the same one that had been recently proposed by Berri.
The solution calls for parliament to refer ex-PM Hassan Diab and the former three ministers to the Higher Council for the Trial of Presidents and Ministers and for Bitar to continue his investigations without questioning such politicians.
Earlier in the day, al-Rahi said “Speaker Berri has important ideas for solutions and I accept them and will work on them.”
“We demand that the judiciary be free, independent and not subject to partisan or sectarian pressures,” he added.
Asked about Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea’s summoning to appear before the army's Intelligence Directorate, al-Rahi condemned the move.
“We do not know what information the judiciary has to request this summoning, but can we summon the head of a party if the supporters or members of a certain party commit killings or anything else?” he added.
Noting that there is a “roadmap” to reach solutions, al-Rahi stressed that “there will be no bargaining between the Tayyouneh incident and the port explosion.”
Ain el-Tineh sources meanwhile told MTV that Berri “has ideas for a complete solution involving politics, the judiciary and security” and that al-Rahi’s ideas were “identical.”
“The meeting was more than good and very frank,” the sources added.