Is Berri running Lebanon foreign policy ?

It appears that Speaker Nabih Berri has hijacked Lebanon’s foreign policy, despite the fact that no cabinet has been formed so far and the only cabinet that should be calling the shots is the cabinet headed by Caretaker PM Saad Hariri.

The main issue right now is Lebanon’s position at the UN Security council with respect to the draft that calls for sanctions against Syria.

Resigned Foreign Minister Ali Shami, a member of Amal Movement which is closely associated with the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah militant group reportedly instructed Nawwaf Salam , Lebanon’s representative at the UN Security council to reject any resolution against Syria , without consulting caretaker PM Saad Hariri or president Suleiman . This prompted a warning by Lebanese Forces ‘ bloc MP Farid Habib who said Tuesday: ” We caution the foreign minister against continuing in his unconstitutional practices without consulting with or informing the president and the caretaker cabinet.”

Hariri’s sources told Akhbar al-Yawm on Wednesday :”No contact was made between Shami and Hariri regarding Lebanon’s position on the Security Council statement on Syria.”

On the other hand Foreign Ministry source told Akhbar al-Yawm: “Shami’s request that Salam should reject U.N. Security Council statement condemning violence against Syrian protestors coincides with Berri’s position towards the Syrian regime.

March 14 alliance are accusing Berri and Shami of overstepping President Michel Suleiman and Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri.

Lebanon has a non-permanent seat on the Security Council from October 2010 to October 2011.

A March 14 ministerial source criticized ” Shami’s behavior” in remarks published Wednesday. He told An Nahar daily that the caretaker minister has sent instructions to Lebanon’s representatives in New York by overstepping the country’s top authorities.

The source said that when the March 14 forces asked Shami to summon the Syrian ambassador over accusations by Damascus against Future Movement MP Jamal al-Jarrah, the minister rejected such a move saying it required a cabinet session. However in the case of a Security Council statement on Syria, Shami gave Salam instructions “without resorting to any other institution” in the country, the source told An Nahar.

“Given its position in the Security Council, Lebanon will never accept a statement that harms Syria,” Berri told As Safir.

Zahraman

Lebanon First bloc MP Khaled Zahraman voiced surprise over Shami’s “irresponsible” act on Tuesday in which he overstepped his jurisdictions,National News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Zahraman said that the constitution clearly states that the government’s policy on such matters should be decided by the entire cabinet.

“Shami’s actions without resorting to the cabinet are unprofessional, irresponsible and unconstitutional.”

“Engaging the country in stances that have negative repercussions and using double standards when viewing Arab uprisings are only a part of what the Lebanese people will confront when March 8 is in power”, he also said.

  • Hannibal

    It is Hariri’s fault for bringing them on into the cabinet. They lost the election therefore they should have NEVER made it to the cabinet. IT WAS NOT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Hariri ignored the will of the election and brought those idiots on board and the result was nothing got accomplished and now he lost the cabinet via a coup planned by the Syrian regime. If anything Lebanon should abstain NOT vote against. I wonder what will Berri do when the people of Syria gain control, and this is only a matter of time until they do. Will he be visiting the new democracy?

    • Hannibal,

      To your argument I would like to add what will march 14 do when they lose
      Saudia Arabia,they already lost Egypt,so im just curious what will happen
      to Saad Harriir whn the people of SA finally have the balls to bring down
      that wahhabi goverment…..you see hannibal no matter what point one tries
      to make,the other side can always counter the question with the same
      exact text but different players…good day bro…

      • maninthestreet1

        That is Lebanon’s big shame having to have SIDES to their arguments instead of thinking of Lebanon minus all sides of the World, We honestly DO NOT NEED TO HAVE SIDES, we are good on our own providing we respect the other man’s point of view and respect it and make sure he has the right to express it even if we do not agree with it.

      • Hannibal

        Well you got me wrong… If you read into my post you know my stance on that as well… I always said down with the royals, the dictators etc… whosoever or wherever they are. That being said, I am totally against Lebanon voting to protect the Assad dynasty. Are you insinuating that it is ok for a minority to rule a majority? Democracy should be blind to the fact that we might not like the aspirations of the majority. Those idiots in Tripoli chanting for the resurrection of the Islamic Caliphate are JUST THAT, a bunch of lunatics. They should stand by their brothers in Syria as secular, freedom fighters… However, we know their aspirations unfortunately. I do not speak religion and being areligious myself you can see how happy I can be seeing the Saudi backward medieval rule. I am not hopeful regardless…

    • maninthestreet1

      He should from now have built for him a house in Tehran – he can block the traffic of Tehran instead of Ain El Tinheh, then we can drive any where in Beirut without fear of being stopped.

      • ghzayel

        you would be surprised to know that most of the shia leaders in lebanon including a great deal of hizballah cadres besides using the “evil” us dollar as their main means of trade, their investments in iran are basically non existent and most of their money and their kids are sent abroad to western countries.

  • It is Hariri’s fault for bringing them on into the cabinet. They lost the election therefore they should have NEVER made it to the cabinet. IT WAS NOT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Hariri ignored the will of the election and brought those idiots on board and the result was nothing got accomplished and now he lost the cabinet via a coup planned by the Syrian regime. If anything Lebanon should abstain NOT vote against. I wonder what will Berri do when the people of Syria gain control, and this is only a matter of time until they do. Will he be visiting the new democracy?

    • Hannibal,

      To your argument I would like to add what will march 14 do when they lose
      Saudia Arabia,they already lost Egypt,so im just curious what will happen
      to Saad Harriir whn the people of SA finally have the balls to bring down
      that wahhabi goverment…..you see hannibal no matter what point one tries
      to make,the other side can always counter the question with the same
      exact text but different players…good day bro…

      • Anonymous

        That is Lebanon’s big shame having to have SIDES to their arguments instead of thinking of Lebanon minus all sides of the World, We honestly DO NOT NEED TO HAVE SIDES, we are good on our own providing we respect the other man’s point of view and respect it and make sure he has the right to express it even if we do not agree with it.

      • Well you got me wrong… If you read into my post you know my stance on that as well… I always said down with the royals, the dictators etc… whosoever or wherever they are. That being said, I am totally against Lebanon voting to protect the Assad dynasty. Are you insinuating that it is ok for a minority to rule a majority? Democracy should be blind to the fact that we might not like the aspirations of the majority. Those idiots in Tripoli chanting for the resurrection of the Islamic Caliphate are JUST THAT, a bunch of lunatics. They should stand by their brothers in Syria as secular, freedom fighters… However, we know their aspirations unfortunately. I do not speak religion and being areligious myself you can see how happy I can be seeing the Saudi backward medieval rule. I am not hopeful regardless…

    • Anonymous

      He should from now have built for him a house in Tehran – he can block the traffic of Tehran instead of Ain El Tinheh, then we can drive any where in Beirut without fear of being stopped.

      • Anonymous

        you would be surprised to know that most of the shia leaders in lebanon including a great deal of hizballah cadres beside using only the “evil” us dollar as their main means of trade, their investments in iran are basically non existent and most of their money and their kids are sent abroad to western countriess.

  • Rafic

    It is a hopless situation with all those FM’s appointed by Speaker Berry ,they all get their marching orders from Mr. Berry not the government. If you do not respect your government sooner or later nobody will respect you. The least UN Ambassador N Salam could have done is to abstain, even if Pres. Suleiman or PM Harriri was consulted they could not have gone against the current regime (syrian) at least the Pres. and PM can say we were not consulted and the blame goes on to Mr. Berry

  • Anonymous

    It is a hopless situation with all those FM’s appointed by Speaker Berry ,they all get their marching orders from Mr. Berry not the government. If you do not respect your government sooner or later nobody will respect you. The least UN Ambassador N Salam could have done is to abstain, even if Pres. Suleiman or PM Harriri was consulted they could not have gone against the current regime (syrian) at least the Pres. and PM can say we were not consulted and the blame goes on to Mr. Berry

  • Anonymous

    It is a hopless situation with all those FM’s appointed by Speaker Berry ,they all get their marching orders from Mr. Berry not the government. If you do not respect your government sooner or later nobody will respect you. The least UN Ambassador N Salam could have done is to abstain, even if Pres. Suleiman or PM Harriri was consulted they could not have gone against the current regime (syrian) at least the Pres. and PM can say we were not consulted and the blame goes on to Mr. Berry

  • Fauzia45

    All the problems that Lebanon has faced are problems of foreign policy as Albert Hourani said in his book!There has to be a foreign policy which appeals to all groups and not to one!No group can control political life or foreign policy!!To avoid problems all have to sit and agree on a policy that would not endanger the stability and the future of the state!If not,there will always be problems and even devastating wars that will only cause suffering,death and destruction!!!!

  • Fauzia45

    All the problems that Lebanon has faced are problems of foreign policy as Albert Hourani said in his book!There has to be a foreign policy which appeals to all groups and not to one!No group can control political life or foreign policy!!To avoid problems all have to sit and agree on a policy that would not endanger the stability and the future of the state!If not,there will always be problems and even devastating wars that will only cause suffering,death and destruction!!!!

  • Anonymous

    All the problems that Lebanon has faced are problems of foreign policy as Albert Hourani said in his book!There has to be a foreign policy which appeals to all groups and not to one!No group can control political life or foreign policy!!To avoid problems all have to sit and agree on a policy that would not endanger the stability and the future of the state!If not,there will always be problems and even devastating wars that will only cause suffering,death and destruction!!!!