BEIRUT: Caretaker Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil stressed over the weekend the need for dialogue among political rivals based on a recent initiative put forward by Speaker Nabih Berri.
“Let us reiterate our trust in the logic of dialogue that it is inevitable, a dialogue that was drawn up by Speaker Nabih Berri in his latest initiative,” Kahlil, who is also the speaker’s political aide, said during a ceremony at Hasan Kamel Sabah’s High School in Nabatieh.
In August, Berri proposed a five-day conclave for National Dialogue to be attended by March 8 and March 14 leaders, in addition to PM-designate Tammam Salam, to address thorny and divisive issues.
Berri listed the makeup and policy statement of the new Cabinet, a national defense strategy, the means to put an end to Lebanese intervention in the Syrian conflict, revival of talks on a new electoral law, and a road map to resolve the socioeconomic crisis as items to be discussed during dialogue.
The Future Movement rejects Berri’s initiative on the grounds that only Salam and President Michel Sleiman are entitled to handle the formation of the new government.
Khalil said that Lebanese politicians should “stop betting on possible changes in neighboring countries that could lead into new balances in Lebanon,” referring to Syria.
“Such bets ... have failed,” he said.
Khalil also said the current caretaker Cabinet was no longer productive and that “a strong [new] Cabinet that can get the trust of Lebanon’s different political parties and parliamentary blocs” is needed.