22-09-2021 06:33 PM Jerusalem Timing

Speaker Berri Launches Initiative for Political Dialogue

Speaker Berri Launches Initiative for Political Dialogue

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called on Sunday for a political dialogue session that joins the leaders of different parliamentary blocs and the Prime Minister Tamam Salam.

Lebanon: Speaker Nabih BerriLebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called on Sunday for a political dialogue session that joins the leaders of different parliamentary blocs and the Prime Minister Tamam Salam.

During a rally in the southern town of Nabatieh to mark the 37th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Sayyed Mussa al-Sadr, Berri said that he would call for the dialogue session within the first ten days of September.

The session would focus on the presidential void, the work of the Parliament and the Cabinet, a new electoral law, administrative decentralization and equipping the Army.

The last political dialogue session was in May 2014 and chaired by then President Michel Sleiman.

The session is Berri's latest initiative to break the current political deadlock prevailing in the country.

Berri opened his speech touching upon Imam Sadr's legacy and said he would not "bargain over Sadr's case" and that he will not "hide anything from Amal supporters" in regards to any investigations into his disappearance.

He also announced that the Zahrani-Tyre-Naqoura highway will be renamed the Mussa al-Sadr highway.

The parliament speaker then shifted to the regional situation, stating that the Iranian nuclear deal would have positive ramifications across the region. He also praised Oman as a mediator and hoped that it would continue its role in reconciling Iran and the Gulf countries who continue to have apprehensions over its nuclear program.

Berri also commented on the anti-government protests led by the You Stink campaign, saying the protesters should call for "a civilian state and an electoral law based upon proportional representation." But he also added that "change only has one door, the Parliament's door."

In regards to the local political situation, Berri believed that strife had been avoided thanks to "the ongoing Future Movement-Hezbollah dialogue."

Imam Sadr, and his two companions Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, went missing on Aug. 31, 1978, when paying an official visit to Libya at the invitation of the late President Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi was killed after being seized in a sewage tunnel by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte in 2011.

In 2009, Lebanon indicted Gadhafi and 16 of his aides on charges of fomenting civil war and inciting sectarian tension in Lebanon through kidnapping Imam Sadr.

An influential and charismatic figure, Imam Sadr founded the Amal movement in 1974 with the aim of alleviating the socioeconomic hardship of Lebanese who suffered from political and other types of marginalization along with defending southern villages against Zionist aggression.

He also championed coexistence and dialogue between different Lebanese factions and worked on bringing sects together.