Lebanon – Jumblat Meets Berri, Urges Dialogue to Resolve Outstanding Issues

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Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Tuesday visited Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain al-Tineh, saying all problems must be resolved through “dialogue.”

“Outstanding issues and political problems must be resolved through dialogue and understanding,” said Jumblat after the meeting.

Separately, Jumblat said the issue of the displaced people is being addressed, stressing that the file of the town of Breeh has been closed.

The Druze leader stressed the importance of national unity and the need to keep away from narrow calculations, “especially that today the Syrian crisis is much bigger than we think.”

“We cannot influence the Syrian conflict, there is a conflict between nations seeking to destroy a central state called Syria, despite the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, but we must remember that there is an international conspiracy seeking to destroy this central state,” Jumblat warned.

Jumblat’s visit to Berri came a few hours after the parliamentary subcommittee convened to discuss the electoral law.

Lawmakers from the rival March 8 and 14 camps discussed several proposals in the first round of discussions aimed at reaching consensus on an electoral draft-law, the head of a parliamentary electoral subcommittee, MP Robert Ghanem, said.

The meetings of the subcommittee were revived on Tuesday, two days after the controversial proposal of the Orthodox Gathering came to the surface following an agreement between bickering Christian parties.

While Hizbullah and Amal – both Shiite Muslim parties from the March 8 majority – claim that they support any agreement reached between Christians, the opposition’s Muslims and mainly al-Mustaqbal movement have rejected the Orthodox Gathering’s proposal for allegedly creating sectarian divisions.

The cabinet has already proposed a bill that divides Lebanon into 13 districts and is based on proportional representation. But the draft-law faces severe criticism from the March 14 alliance and Jumblat’s National Struggle Front.

The opposition has also proposed a draft-law that divides Lebanon into 50 districts based on the winner-takes-all system.

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