Nabih Berri’s incomplete proposals
Lebanese parliament speaker has said he contributed to the deal to end obstacles to the country’s offshore oil and gas reserves
Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri said he contributed to the deal with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to end obstacles over the country’s offshore oil and gas reserves. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tammam Salam called for not rushing into the matter, as it affects future generations and he does not know the details. This means the issue will remain stuck between parliament and the cabinet.
Tackling less important matters, such as those regarding mobile operators and trash, has also been hindered, so how can something as significant as offshore oil and gas, which entails overlapping and contradictory interests, pass peacefully?
The other urgent issue relates to Berri’s package of proposals to be addressed at the national dialogue sessions, which will begin on Aug. 2. This is an attempt to revive the state’s work. He has repeatedly said the package does not resemble the Doha Agreement, and will not impose a new reality or harm the Taif Agreement. It involves electing a president, and agreeing on an electoral law and a new cabinet. These are indisputably urgent matters.
There is a bottleneck, and it is unacceptable to continue trading accusations and keeping Berri’s incomplete package without developing an alternativeNayla Tueni
This proposal is not a reality imposed on those participating in national dialogue, and is not a response to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s demand that Michel Aoun be president. Those who reject the upcoming dialogue sessions are wrong to do so, especially when they do not have an alternative plan to solve the ongoing obstruction.
March 14 parties may have taken a positive step by attending parliament sessions scheduled to elect a president despite a boycott by Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement. However, March 14 parties must take other initiatives to push the state project forward, but without making concessions. There is a bottleneck, and it is unacceptable to continue trading accusations and keeping Berri’s incomplete package without developing an alternative.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on July 18, 2016.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni