BEIRUT: Head of the Future bloc MP Fouad Siniora held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri over the weekend as part of the dialogue the two officials launched last month.
“I met with Speaker Berri to follow up on the last meeting we had over two weeks ago and we discussed a large number of issues affecting the Lebanese. The dialogue was good, useful and productive,” Siniora told reporters in Berri’s residence in Ain el-Tineh.
The meeting comes days before Berri convenes a parliamentary session to elect members of the House’s general secretariat.
Siniora said he would meet with the speaker on the sideline of Tuesday’s session.
“We agreed that there was a need to continue such meetings and we will hold several others in the near future,” he added.
Talks between the two officials come amid a stalemate among the country’s political parties. The ongoing standoff represents one of the main obstacles preventing Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam from forming a new government.
While Siniora along with his allies in the March 14 coalition are pressing for a neutral Cabinet of nonpartisan ministers, the March 8 group including Berri and Hezbollah has called for a political Cabinet with party representation.
Hezbollah has recently voiced support for a 9-9-6 Cabinet lineup which gives each major coalition veto power. Siniora rejected such a formula.
In remarks to The Daily Star earlier this week, Siniora, a former prime minister, said the Future Movement and its March 14 allies were ready to accept the 8-8-8 Cabinet proposal if it was endorsed by President Michel Sleiman.
Hezbollah has rejected such a formula as it denies them veto power and calls for the rotation of key portfolios among parliamentary blocs.
Amid this political deadlock, Berri has proposed the resumption National Dialogue to discuss several contentious issues including the type of Cabinet
Although Berri dispatched a delegation to discuss his initiative with rival groups, the speaker has not set a day for dialogue.