Under the auspices of President Michel Sleiman, Lebanon’s
National dialogue session commenced at the Baabda Palace Monday after the one
year and seven month break.
Former PM Saad Hariri and Lebanese Forces Chief Samir Geagea remain absent from
these talks. Minister of Finance Mohammad Safadi was also absent for medical
For their part, Sleiman and Premiere Najib Mikati held private talks prior to
the commencement of the session.
Monday’s dialogue is the sixth session held under Sleiman’s auspices and the
thirteenth of its kind.
The following were the main points on today’s
-The arms of the resistance and positive utilization for the defense of
-The arms within and outside Palestinian refugee
-The disarmament of various cities
According to sources, Sleiman stressed on the importance of dialogue given that
it has proven to be the only way of releasing mounting tensions in the country.
For his part, Mikati has vowed his government’s commitment
to applying the decisions taken at the session. The premiere also lauded the
talks, saying that it sends out a positive message that force has no place in
civilized politics, adding that the Taif accord is the basis of governance.
The U.S. Embassy encouraged participants to work in a constructive manner
and emphasized the commitment of the United Stated to promoting stability in
Sleiman named the facts that have
occurred since the previous dialogue and the conditions imposed on the current
one. He also stressed on the importance of setting a date for the next
session. Sleiman added that the government holds a national responsibility
towards the country and that all outstanding issues can be solved through
holding talks and easing off strong political rhetoric.
of the dialogue agreed on the need to maintain neutrality in Lebanon's policy in
regards to regional conflicts, they also agreed on controlling the situation on
the border with Syria, and not to allow the establishment of a buffer zone.
stressed on the need for dialogue and taking a calm approach to resolving the
statement also stressed the need to support the LAF, describing the latter as the
country’s insurance. It also called for governmental support to enable the full
implementation of the deployment plan in conflict zones (Jabbal Mohsen and Bab Al-Tabbaneh), and called to uphold
the authority of the judiciary. There
was consensus among the participants not to let Lebanon delve into regional
The talks also
focused on Akkar, Tripoli, the wave of kidnappings sweeping the country.
Head of the Free Patriotic Movement Michel Aoun, and while leaving the palace said that the talks were very positive and that consent was reached between all political parties. House
Speaker Nabih Berri also conceded to the positivity of the talks, with MP Fouad
Siniora stating that the dialogue is a step in the right direction.
The next dialogue session is set for the 25th of June.