BEIRUT: There is no dispute with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun despite disagreements over the oil exploration issue, Speaker Nabih Berri said in remarks published Friday.
“There are no disagreements with the general,” Berri told the Annahar daily.
“The dispute between [caretaker Energy Minister] Gebran Bassil and [caretaker Health Minister] Ali Hassan Khalil will not affect the relationship between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Amal Movement,” he said.
“Both parties want the Cabinet to convene and address all that is related to the oil issue,” he added.
Bassil has been calling on the caretaker Cabinet and Parliament to hold extraordinary sessions to approve oil sector decrees.
Khalil, a member of the Amal Movement’s political bureau, blasted Bassil earlier this week for refusing to put up for auction all 10 of Lebanon’s offshore gas blocks.
He further accused the energy minister of favoritism for starting an onshore gas survey in his hometown of Batroun, rather than in another part of the country, and demanded that all 10 offshore blocks be fully operation in one shot.
Bassil, however, insists that the Petroleum Administration had already designated the five blocks that would be put up for auction, adding that most countries do not auction off all of their blocks in the first round of tenders.