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French Version

Jordan backs Lebanon's national dialogue

Jordan's King Abdullah II expressed full support for the Lebanese national dialogue, which Speaker Nabih Berri has called to start on March 2 in Parliament.

Lebanon's speaker was warmly welcomed in Jordan by King Abdullah and Jordan's Speaker of the House Abdel-Hadi al-Majali to chair the 12th conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Council.

Following a meeting at the Al-Homr Palace, Berri said he informed Jordan's king about his initiative and both parties agreed to maintain contacts.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the council's 47th session, Berri urged the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union Council to focus mainly in its coming session on supporting the Lebanese dialogue to overcome all challenges.

The dialogue is to address the issues of former Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination, fully implementing Security Council Resolution 1559, and mending Lebanese-Syrian ties.

Berri expressed his hope that consultations within this forum would contribute in promoting Arab solidarity, unifying the discourse of the Arab countries and activating the council's role in all fields.

Berri, who currently chairs the council's 47th session, called for an Arab parliamentary campaign that would tackle the issue of the 9,300 Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian detainees and the 15 members in the new Palestinian legislative council who were are currently detained in Israeli jails.

But Berri did not mention the detainees allegedly held in Syrian jails.

Berri proposed preparing a unified paper about the Palestinian reality under Israeli occupation and presenting it to the council and conference of the Federation of Parliaments of the Organization of the Islamic Conference scheduled for April in Istanbul and to the Conference for the Support of the Palestinian Cause expected to be held in Tehran.

Berri stressed that despite the numerous sessions held so far, participants never dared to set a mechanism to follow up on the recommendations.

He called for forming a follow-up committee, launching a joint campaign with the Arab League secretary general and Arab parliamentary and governmental parties interested in forming a joint Arab market, and finalizing an agenda for the project of joint Arab work, especially in the issue of economic unity.

Jordan's Parliament speaker, Majali, said this session is being held under regional and international circumstances which are now more complicated than ever.

Majdali said that the endeavor to establish peace, security and stability in the Arab region will not be successful unless a peaceful, fair and comprehensive solution is found for the Palestinian cause based on the international resolutions.

He stressed that problems and tension in the region are "the natural result of the Israeli occupation to Palestinian, Lebanese and Arab territories."

The official added that he hoped that Sudan would reach full stability and that the United Arab Emirates would find a fair solution to the controversy over their islands according to the neutral international arbitration principle.

Majdali denounced the publication of offensive cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad "under the alibi of freedom of opinion," saying Muslims should unite to stop such an act from being committed again under any pretext.

Karine Raad
The Daily Star

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