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LEBANESE PRESIDENCY

Berri says September dialogue is 'opportunity that should not be missed'

Berri says September dialogue is 'opportunity that should not be missed'

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the 11th session dedicated to the presidential election in Beirut on Jan. 19, 2023. (Credit: Ali Fawaz/Parliament Flickr account)

BEIRUT — Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told Al-Joumhouriya that the September dialogue, proposed by French envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian to find a solution to the ongoing presidential vacuum, is "an opportunity that should not be missed."

During his visit to Beirut at the end of July, Le Drian proposed that Lebanese stakeholders participate in an informal dialogue in September to find a solution to the presidential vacuum that has been in place since Oct. 31, when former President Michel Aoun's term in office ended.

In remarks published on Tuesday, Berri added that "if we reach a consensus, a president will surely be elected, and Lebanon will move from a shattered reality and follow the path of recovery."

Berri noted that he has been calling for a dialogue for a long time, adding, "We told them to have a dialogue with us; they tried to see if we were serious or not, but they avoided it. This caused the decline in the situation we are in."

Berri also remarked that "the presidential election is a constitutional, sovereign and national election, so let us make it an occasion in which we prioritize Lebanon's interest over any other interests."

Lebanon has now been without a president for more than nine months. Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, led by Berri, staunchly support the Marada Movement leader Sleiman Frangieh for president. The two parties have maintained support for Frangieh despite political deadlock meaning they have been unable to secure his election.

On July 29, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that "everyone awaits September" and that a "serious dialogue" must be opened.

The so-called group of five, which includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, the United States and France, met in Doha on July 17 to discuss Lebanon's presidential vacuum.

BEIRUT — Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told Al-Joumhouriya that the September dialogue, proposed by French envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian to find a solution to the ongoing presidential vacuum, is "an opportunity that should not be missed."During his visit to Beirut at the end of July, Le Drian proposed that Lebanese stakeholders participate in an informal dialogue in September to find...