Lebanon prepares for hosting the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit next month as it still struggles to form a new government, as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri objected to not inviting Syria to the event, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Monday.
The daily said that political circles have recently raised the issue of preparations for the Beirut summit expected mid-next month, in light of aggravating conflict between the political parties over cabinet shares and quotas leaving the country “governmentless.”
A political source who spoke on condition of anonymity told the newspaper: “How would a summit be held in a country bankrupt at the financial and governmental levels?”
Meanwhile, Berri has objected to not inviting Syria and asked: “How come Lebanon did not invite Syria to attend the summit? I have reiterated at the Arab parliamentary meetings, that I do not accept meetings without Syria, I will not accept any other Arab meeting without Syria,” he stressed.
The Summit is expected to be held in Beirut on January 19-20.
According to media reports, “Hizbullah and some political forces allied with the Syrian regime embarked on pressuring Lebanon into inviting the Syrian regime.”
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and a number of political forces have reportedly rejected the matter, arguing that Lebanon must abide by the decisions of the Arab League which suspended Syria’s membership back in 2011 over its failure to end government crackdown on protests.
The Arab Economic and Social Development summits are summits of the Arab League, held at the head of state level to address issues of economic and social development among member-states.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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