Berri chairs national dialogue: To agree on “Lebanese Doha”, uphold to Taif Accord

NNA – House Speaker Nabih Berri chaired on Tuesday in Ain al-Tineh the national dialogue session which will be taking place on three consecutive days.

The attendees tackled the items on agenda, notably the presidential election and election law.

Attending the session were Speaker Berri, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas, Head of Future Parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora, MP Atef Majdalani, Former Premier Najib Mikati, MP Ahmad Karami, Former Vice Prime Minister Michel Murr, Head of Marada Movement MP Sleiman Frangieh, Former Minister Youssef Saade, Democratic Gathering leader MP Walid Jumblatt, MP Ghazi Aridi, Minister Gibran Bassil, MP Hikmat Dib, MP Talal Arslan, MP Mohammad Raad, MP Ali Fayyad, Minister Michel Pheraon, Minister Boutros Harb, Former MP Jawad Boulos, Head of Tashnag party Hagop Pacradonian, and Minister Arthur Nazarian.

At the beginning of the dialogue, Berri said that the situation was dangerous at the internal and external levels.

“This is why we should agree on “Lebanese Doha,” starting by electing a president,” he added, hoping to hold onto the Taif Accord.

Speaking before the end of the session, Jumblatt said that he agreed with Berri to carry on dialogue, adding that issues need a bit of patience and everything will be okay.

“The atmosphere during the national dialogue session was good,” said Frangieh.

However, a debate erupted between Raad and Siniora who asked Raad about the reason of Hezbollah’s non participation in the presidential election sessions.

MP Arslan pointed out that if they failed to reach a solution concerning the electoral law, they would go back to square one.

Bassil, for his part, voiced rejection “to any electoral law lacking a clear base and standard, to an electoral law made to fit the size of each political side. We say like that so as to avoid wasting time on fruitless debates.”

MP Fayyad, in his turn, said that this session didn’t come up with anything new despite its seriousness.

“Regarding the presidential vacuum, all political parties adhere to their stances,” noted Fayyad, adding that they agreed on upholding to Taif Accord and on electing a President.

Minister Harb said that MP Sleiman Frangieh would be ready to withdraw his candidacy if all political sides or figures agreed on specific candidate.

“Deputy House Speaker, Farid Makari, suggested nominating three candidates and choosing one of them, but his proposal was rejected,” added Harb.