BEIRUT: The Bkirki National Charter calls for reviving dialogue between the different political parties and strives to steer Lebanon away from a national crisis, former MP Farid al-Khazen said Monday.
“The charter demands a dialogue and an open debate,” said Khazen, speaking at the launch of a two-day conference on the charter. “The charter is an attempt to avoid the abyss.”
He also said Lebanon was in “dire need” of a countrywide reconciliation in light of the precarious security situation and regional crisis.
The last dialogue session, which occurred last week, was boycotted by most March 8 and some March 14 figures.
The conference, held at the Hilton Hotel and titled “ Bkirki National Charter: A National Project,” was attended by MP’s, high-ranking officials, scholars, and religious figures. It was organized by the Civic Committee.
Rai announced a National Charter in February after a meeting of the Council of Maronite Bishops.
The charter stresses the need for the timely election of a new president and for Muslim-Christian partnership to run Lebanon, and was hailed by Lebanese politicians.
Maronite Bishop Samir Mazloum, who helped launched the conference, said a real dialogue was needed to take place “far from foreign interference, which will lead to a reconciliation between the Lebanese” and the rebuilding of society.
He also said Lebanon needed to elect a president before the constitutional deadline on May 25.
A number of notable officials are set to speak at the conference, including head of the Marada party, Sleiman Frangieh, Minister of Health Wael Abu Faour, Minister of State for Administrative Development Nabil de Freige, Bishop Boulos Matar, and a number of former ministers.
The conference’s agenda will tackle a range of issues in regard to the charter such as the electoral law, democracy, achieving Christian-Muslim parity, the abolishment of sectarianism, the role of Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East, the arms of the resistance, and the presidency.