Berri Hails Aoun's Call for Baabda Consultative Meeting

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Speaker Nabih Berri has welcomed President Michel Aoun's call for a meeting in Baabda among the leaders of the political parties that are represented in government.

Berri, who received invitations to the meeting from both Aoun and Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil, told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Monday that he will be “the first one to arrive” at the meeting.

“This is not like the previous dialogue meetings and it is an idea that I agree to... We will discuss how we can revitalize the country's situation, economy and priorities and what's more important is to revitalize institutions,” Berri said.

“We do not want to create something new in this dialogue but rather to remind of the norms and means to implement them and abide by them,” the speaker added.

Asked whether the meeting would tackle the latest violent murders and robberies in the country, Berri said “this only requires the enforcement of the law.”

“And as I said before: all covers are lifted and security forces are required to perform their duties,” Berri added.

Aoun's unprecedented meeting with the political leaders is aimed at “discussing the previous phase and its obstacles as well as the upcoming phase and the means to reactivate the work of state institutions,” ad-Diyar newspaper has reported.

The conferees will “discuss the pending Taef Accord articles, especially in terms of abolishing political sectarianism as a prelude to creating a Senate,” ad-Diyar added.

They will also tackle “vital projects that need to be executed” and will address “the rifts that were caused by the electoral law” negotiations, the newspaper said.

“The president will put the leaders of the parties in the picture of his vision and reform ideas for the upcoming years of his tenure,” ad-Diyar added, noting that Berri “will contribute to President Aoun's efforts.”