PM Hariri trying to resolve Aoun, Berri crisis

Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (R) meets President Michel Aoun (L) and Parliament speaker Nabih Berri(C) at the presidential palace in Baadba on November 22, 2017.
Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri (R) meets President Michel Aoun (L) and Parliament speaker Nabih Berri(C) at the presidential palace in Baadba on November 22, 2017.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is reportedly planning   to visit Ain el Tinah prior to  this week’s cabinet session to seek   a solution to the crisis between Speaker Nabih Berri  and president and President Michel Aoun  ,  according to media reports.

The dispute  between Berri and Aoun broke out after the president and the premier signed a decree granting one-year seniority to a number of officers. Berri and Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil have insisted that the decree should have also carried the finance minister’s signature.

Khalil is a member of the Amal Movement which is headed by Berri

Aoun and his aides have argued that the decree did not require Khalil’s signature because it did not entail any “financial burden,” a point Berri and officials close to him have rejected.

Ain el Tinah sources have meanwhile warned that the decree would tip sectarian balance in favor of Christians in the army’s highest echelons.

The officers in question were undergoing their first year of officer training at the Military Academy when Syrian forces ousted Aoun’s military government from Baabda in 1990. They were suspended by the pro-Damascus authorities until 1993 before they resumed their officer training course as second-year cadets.