Berri heads to Syria to consult with Assad over Lebanon crisis


Speaker Nabih Berri heads to Damascus Wednesday to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to consult with him over the Lebanon crisis, according to local report.

In an interview with As-Safir newspaper published on Wednesday, Berri said that he wants consensus between all parties on the issue of “false witnesses.” However, he added that he “will take the appropriate stance ” if there is no consensus on the issue, even if this requires a win or lose vote.

Berri said that he along with president Suleiman and PM Hariri are trying to ease the tension in Lebanon.

The Lebanese cabinet is expected to address the issue of “false witnesses ” on Wednesday. The session will be helad at baabda palace and will be chaired by president Michel Suleiman.

Suleiman postponed traveling to Montreux in Switzerland until October 22 in order to head the cabinet’s session on Wednesday, NBN television reported last Saturday . The 2010 Francophonie summit will be held in Montreux from October 22 till 24.

On August 18, the cabinet delegated Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar to prepare a report on false testimonies in the international investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Najjar submitted his report last week

Several March 8 figures have called for the issue to be referred to the Justice Council.

Tension escalated in Lebanon following reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim. Hezbollah and its March 8 allies have been calling for the abolition of STL

There are concerns that should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to a Shiite-Sunni strife.