BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday voiced readiness to show some flexibility regarding the Cabinet’s policy statement on the condition that his rivals do so as well, saying the disputed resistance clause was needed to protect Lebanon’s resources.
“If some [parties] show flexibility in discussing the policy statement, then we will also show the same flexibility to facilitate its approval, as we confirm our solid stance on the resistance issue which is solid and not some tactic,” Berri told lawmakers during his weekly meeting.
The speaker’s comments come as ministers struggle to draft the government’s policy statement in light of the March 14 coalition’s insistence on removing the resistance clause, which legitimizes Hezbollah’s arms.
The Hezbollah-led March 8 group demanded that the resistance is mentioned in the statement, citing repeated Israeli threats and aggression against Lebanon.
Although the ministerial committee drafting the statement has suspended its meetings for three days to make time for consultations among rival groups, there have so far been no signs of a breakthrough.
Berri has said that March 8 compromised over the issue after they agreed to drop the tripartite formula of the "Army, the people and the resistance."
During his meeting with MPs in Ain el-Tineh, Berri distributed international documents and U.N. statements confirming the right to armed struggle against an occupier.
“Unfortunately, what is Israel has done and continues to do in terms of violations and aggression against Lebanon does not draw enough attention, despite the fact that such sea, land and air infringements occur almost on a daily basis,” Berri said.
He also spoke about what he said was Israel’s threat to Lebanon’s oil and gas resources.
”We will not spare one drop of our oil resources and we will use all our might to protect it,” he said.
“Defending our land, sovereignty and resources requires us to adhere to the elements of strength, the right of resistance, and the Army,” he added.
Berri also discussed with the lawmakers the domestic and foreign challenges the government was facing.