Berri Urges all Political Factions to Attend Dialogue

Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said that he is looking forward to the Lebanese Forces’ participation in a national dialogue session initiated by him in an effort to end Lebanon’s crippling political crisis.

Berri Wednesday underlined the importance of his national dialogue initiative, saying it could be the last chance to resolve a protracted political crisis that has left the country without a president for 15 months, paralyzed Parliament and crippled the government’s work.

“I hope the Lebanese Forces will attend the dialogue,” Berri was quoted as telling visitors who went to see him at his Beirut residence Thursday. “At the same time I understand their position in case they choose not to attend.”

In the remarks published Friday, Speaker Berri reiterated that the presidential election tops the dialogue agenda.

Berri has set an all-party dialogue session for Sept. 9 to discuss ways to end the presidential vacuum, resuming Parliament and the Cabinet’s work, a new election law, legislation allowing foreigners of Lebanese origin to obtain Lebanese nationality, administrative decentralization and means to support the Lebanese Army and the police.

All the political parties, except for the Lebanese Forces, have welcomed Berri’s dialogue call, saying they will attend. Media reports said Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea would announce the decision during an LF rally Saturday.


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