Lebanese MP meets with Mubarak, calls for dialogue to solve crisis
Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri met Sunday with Egyptian President
Hosny Mubarak and urged all political parties to hold talks before the upcoming
parliamentary session on April 22 to end Beirut's political stalemate.
After the talks, Berri told reporters that an inner Lebanese dialogue would help the Arab League initiative to be implemented.
The Arab initiative calls for the election of Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as a compromise candidate for president.
The plan also calls for the formation of a national unity government in which no one party has veto power and the adoption of a new electoral law.
Berri said that there has been at least 17 invitations sent by the Lebanese MPs that call for appointing a new president, but not all MPs attend the parliamentary sessions, which are always deemed failing.
He stressed that Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia could assist in solving the political standoff, but they can never replace the Lebanese sides who should work on solving their own crisis.
Berri added that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is considered another factor that worsens the Lebanese situation.
Speaking of his relationship with the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora, Berri said that he deals with the government, as Arab leaders recognize it.
"It is a fact that the government is already there. We should deal with it in order not to create a full political gap in Lebanon," said Berri, a Shiite who is close to the opposition led by Hezbollah.
Lebanon has been without a president since Emile Lahoud's term ended in late November. So far 16 attempts to hold a parliament session to choose a new president have been postponed.