Lebanon News

Berri open to hosting Yemeni dialogue

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a session at the Parliament in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. (Mahmoud Kheir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri expressed his willingness to host dialogue sessions between Yemen’s warring factions in a bid to broker a political solution to the crisis in the country.

Berri, who reaffirmed the importance of finding a political solution to the conflict, said that all sides have agreed to the need for dialogue between supporters of self-exiled President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. “So if no one is rejecting dialogue, why wait?” he asked lawmakers visiting his Ain al-Tineh residence Saturday.

Berri suggested carrying out talks in Oman- the only GCC member state that has not participated in the Saudi-led airstrikes against Houthi rebels launched last month. If not Oman, Switzerland would serve as a second contender for dialogue sessions between the warring parties, he said.

“But if not [Switzerland] let it take place in Lebanon,” he added, according to a statement released by his media office. “I am ready to host the negotiating parties here at my residence, where I host dialogue sessions between The Future Movement and Hezbollah.”

Touching on the ninth round of talks between Lebanon’s two rival parties, Berri said that dialogue sessions were unscathed by differences between Hezbollah and The Future Movement over the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

The latest dialogue session did not even discuss the situation in Yemen since ministers had already voiced their views on the subject during last week’s Cabinet meeting, the speaker said. Talks instead focused on the implementation of a security plan for areas of Beirut and its southern suburbs, he added.

Berri also hailed Iran for its “shrewd” management in talks with world powers after a framework agreement between Iran and world powers over the former’s nuclear program was announced Thursday.

“I don’t think it has ever happened anywhere world, that an Islamic state has negotiated with world powers on it’s in own, in such a manner and reached such an agreement,” he said.





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