Berri, Hariri Offer Separate Solutions to False Witnesses' Issue, Await Response

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told the leading newspaper An-Nahar that the Opposition awaits response to its offer from Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

"We (Opposition) have proposed a purely Lebanon-made solution," Berri said in remarks published by An-Nahar on Wednesday.

"My aim is to avoid sinking further," Berri said.

Hariri responded via An-Nahar, telling Berri: "We, too, proposed not only a Lebanon-made solution, but a Constitutional one."

He said the majority March 14 coalition was waiting for Berri's response to his offer.

An-Nahar said Berri's political aide MP Ali Hasan Khalil on Monday presented Hariri a proposal on behalf of Berri and his allies in the March 8 coalition that says the false witnesses' issue is a subdivision of ex-PM Rafik Hariri's assassination, already in the hands of the Judicial Council.

Hariri, according to An-Nahar, told Khalil that the proposal requires legal examination before an answer is given, and asked Berri's advisor to provide him with a written text of the proposal.

On Tuesday, Khalil delivered the written text to Hariri.

Meanwhile, Hariri informed Khalil that he has a Constitutional solution to the controversial false witnesses' issue where Cabinet could seek help from the Supreme Consultative Authority in issues of extreme importance.

But the Opposition snubbed Hariri's proposal, An-Nahar said. It said after Hariri's proposal was examined by the Hizbullah-led March 8 coalition, Khalil informed the Prime Minister that his offer was not welcomed.

The Opposition, for its part, proposed an amended version of the first offer.

An-Nahar said the amendment stated that the Judicial Council has the right to accept or reject the false witnesses' issue.