Berri 'can't sleep at night' because of US sanction threats
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has mockingly said that "he can't sleep at night", as he downplayed U.S. sanction threats.
"They think they can intimidate me," Berri told al-Joumhouria newspaper, in remarks published Friday.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf had reportedly warned that her country might impose sanctions on Lebanese officials, including Berri, if they continue to obstruct the election of a new president.
"I will not call for an unproductive session before two serious candidates are presented," Berri said, despite an agreement between the opposition forces and the Free Patriotic Movement on the nomination of former minister Jihad Azour.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea had confirmed earlier this week the agreement and said that Azour can get more than 65 votes, while local media reported Friday that Azour could get 68 votes.
Nineteen Lebanese Forces MPs, 17 Free Patriotic Movement MPs, 4 Tajaddod and 4 Kataeb MPs, 8 MPs from the Democratic Gathering bloc and two from the Tashnag would vote for Azour, in addition to 6 independent and 8 change MPs, LBCI reported.