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Lebanon: Hariri Seeks Solution that Appeases Both Aoun, Berri

Lebanon: Hariri Seeks Solution that Appeases Both Aoun, Berri

Monday, 8 January, 2018 - 07:15
President Michel Aoun Meets Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri at Baabda Palace on November 27, 2017. Dalati and Nohra photo

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to exert stronger efforts this week to solve a dispute between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri over a decree to promote a number of officers without the approval of the Finance Minister.

Although sources close to the Prime Minister refused to reveal details of Hariri’s new initiative, they told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that “efforts were being exerted away from the media with an aim to reaching a positive solution to the current raw.”

The same sources said: “We can still reach a solution that pleases both sides.”

Aoun and Hariri had signed a decree that sees the promotion of officers who graduated from the military school in 1994. However, Berri insists that the decree should be approved by the Finance Ministry, before going into effect.

Sources close to Aoun and Hariri agree that the current crisis would not affect the government work amid a tacit agreement between all parties stipulating that the cabinet should be distanced from the decree crisis.

The Central News Agency quoted on Sunday officials as saying that Hariri will soon meet with Berri to offer guarantees to the Speaker that the Taif Accord is stable and that “none of the political elements are seeking to amend or violate it.”

Last week, the Speaker hinted that the row between him and Aoun over the decree is linked to the “Taif Accord.”

According to the sources, the crisis is about to end, and there would be “no victor and no vanquished” by adding the signature of the Finance Minister to the decree.

Other ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Aoun is holding onto his position, which respects the country’s laws and regulations and is based on former decrees that did not require the approval of the Finance Minister.

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