Lebanon: Aoun and Nasrallah meet in unprecedented talks
An unprecedented meeting took place earlier this week between rival Lebanese leaders Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun.
The two leaders held their first ever negotiation on Monday, lasting for several hours, at the Mar Mikhail Church in Shiyah.
A joint statement was subsequently issued by the two, in which several proposals were presented, according to the Daily Star.
During the talks, the two leaders reportedly agreed that Hizbullah had the right to retain its arms until no Lebanese territory remained under occupation.
They also agreed to cooperate to ensure that former Southern Lebanese Army militiamen currently exiled in Israel could return home, as well securing the release of Lebanese prisoners held in Syria.
The meeting is seen by many as a breakthrough in Lebanese politics. Despite disapproval of the content of the accord by some, many commended the joint effort to cooperate in spite of differences.
Also on Monday, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri spoke of the role parliaments can play in promoting national dialogue. Berri has already launched an initiative to begin a public dialogue in Lebanon.
In his speech, "The Role of Parliaments in National Dialogue," Berri pointed out the important role various parliaments had in contributing to peace in conflict-ridden areas such as Sierra Leone, Argentina, Chile, Rwanda, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.