Berri: defense strategy is strictly a Lebanese issue, Arabs should not be involved


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National dialogue talks are scheduled to resume Tuesday at the Baabda palace amid tension between the majority March 14 coalition and the Hezbollah-led Opposition over the agenda of the talks.

The main item of the agenda is the defense strategy but many members of the March 14 alliance are insisting that the disarmament of Hezbollah should also be included in the agenda. Some March14 members are also calling for the presence of an Arab league representative at the talks .

But Speaker Nabih Berri , a key Hezbollah ally and who is opposed to the presence of the Arab league has warned against fishing for Arab support.

“Lebanon can seek Arab help in everything except the defense strategy issue and the President is aware of that,” Berri said in remarks published Monday by the daily As-Safir.

“Those who are pushing for Arab League participation are weaving a conspiracy against Arabs and want to get them to do something they don’t want to do,” Berri thought.

According to Al-Akhbar newspaper the Speaker will present a request to include “economic security” in the agenda of the the dialogue talks