Parliament speaker Nabih Berri cancelled Wednesday his invitation for a national dialogue so that political parties can agree on a new president.
Berri’s media office said that the speaker decided to cancel his initiative following “objections” from the Lebanese Forces and the Free Patriotic Movement.
“Many obstacles are blocking Berri’s dialogue,” said a lawmaker from the Amal-led Development and Liberation bloc.
The MP told al-Akhbar newspaper, in remarks published Wednesday, before Berri’s announcement, that “political tension has intensified lately between Berri and former President Michel Aoun” and that “some responses to the dialogue initiative were surprisingly negative.”
Parliament will convene on Thursday to discuss a letter sent by Aoun after the latter signed a decree “accepting the resignation” of the caretaker cabinet.
FPM chief Jebran Bassil accused Berri of not taking Aoun’s letter seriously, otherwise he would have called Parliament to convene on Monday instead of Thursday.
He also accused him of obstructing the government formation. “It is clear that Berri doesn’t want a government,” Bassil said in a live interview on al-Jadeed TV.
“There is a foreign decision to prevent the formation of a government and it is domestically supported by Berri,” he added.
Bassil then rejected Berri’s dialogue. “I can’t go to someone who is insulting me,” the FPM chief said.
He then went on to say that Berri’s framework agreement has no value.
“Berri is the head of a legislative authority that does not have the right to make agreements,” Bassil said, speaking of the maritime border demarcation deal with Israel.