Speaker of the House Nabih Berri welcomed this Thursday in Ain El-Tineh caretaker Information Minister, Melhem Riachy, dispatched by Lebanese Forces party leader, Samir Geagea.
Riachy briefed Berri on the outcomes of his meeting yesterday with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and tackle with him the issue of forming the next government.
At a later stage, caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil joined the meeting in the wake of which Riachy said "we relayed the LF's readiness to further facilitate the process of forming a government that is balanced and decent to Lebanon's image, the mandate's image as well as that of the parliamentary elections and the representation sizes achieved thereby."
The minister also "conveyed to the Speaker the greetings of [Dr. Geagea], marking the commemoration of Imam al-Sadr tomorrow."
Asked about the accuracy of the media-circulating news which suggest that "the LF has made additional concessions, and that the government has become closer," the minister said "the Lebanese Forces does not make concessions, in the true sense of the word. The term is inaccurate. The LF has provided facilitations to the maximum extent so as to help the PM-designate form a government as soon as possible. The goal is to have a government, and to revive the country and address the serious and delicate economic situation."
In response to a question, Riachy said: "Frankly, the knot is not on our end, for us to say whether or not there will be a government. We have done everything in our capacity, and the premier-designate is the one who can answer your question."
Questioned about the Maarab understanding, he replied: "Since Minister Bassil announced the suspension of the agreement, there were no further meetings or talks."
He assured, however, that "it is no longer possible to steer clear from the reconciliation reality, which is firmly rooted in the minds of all Christians, in particular, and the Lebanese in general. We are always open to any positive approach, and our arm is always stretched out."
On a different note, Speaker Berri welcomed Kataeb MP Nadim Gemayel who thanked him for his confidence in his ability to chair the Committee on Information and Technology.
We discussed the means to activate the committee's work, especially since this sector is very important for the economy and for growth in general, said Gemayel.
"I also briefed his Excellency on my intention to call for a meeting very soon to question the ministers involved in the piracy case against the Lebanese State, to be able to know more about the information that was stolen and how that hack was done," the MP said, stressing the need to take action so as to prevent threats to citizens and their data.
"We also discussed the current issues, including the formation of the government and the legislation course. We support the position of his Excellency that, if the government is not formed in the near future, we will be forced to okay draft laws that are being studied and approved in the joint committees. We are in favor of holding a legislative session so that we can protect the Lebanese economy and approve all the laws that must be approved in this framework," Gemayel stressed.
Source: National News Agency