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Speaker Nabih Berri praised President Michel Sleiman on Wednesday for comments the president made on Israel earlier in the week, a day after Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accused the head of state of making contradictory stances.

During an interview with Al-Manar television on Monday, Sleiman said he is committed to the Ministerial Statement clause that the Lebanese army, people and Resistance are all legitimate means to face recurrent Israeli threats.

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said on Tuesday that the president should only express positions backed by all the Lebanese people.

“Yesterday the president used the same statements that he had made during his inaugural speech,” Berri said at Baabda palace following 60-minute talks with Suleiman. “He has never drifted away from the inaugural speech.”

On Tuesday, Geagea said Suleiman’s latest statement regarding the defense strategy is in contradiction with the inaugural speech and “represents the stance of one group of Lebanese and not everybody’s view.”

He believed a consensus president “should not speak on behalf of a group of Lebanese and adopt its position.”

However, Berri snapped back by saying that the person who presides over dialogue sessions should not necessarily be neutral on national issues.

“I created the dialogue table and I am one of the founders of the resistance. There is no contradiction between the two issues,” the speaker stressed.

Naharnet, Now Lebanon

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