Berri welcomes Le Drian, others

APRIL 20, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Monday welcomed at Ain-el-Tine French Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in presence of French Ambassador to Lebanon, Patrice Paoli, with talks featuring high on the French armament of the Lebanese military within the frame of the Saudi donation.

Berri also met with Finnish Ambassador to Lebanon, Matti Lassila, over the current general situation and the bilateral relations between Lebanon and Finland.

He later had an encounter with Head of the Economic Committees, former Minister Adnan Qassar.

Berri has earlier chaired a meeting for the Parliament’s Bureau, in presence of lawmakers Fadi Makkari, Marwan Hamadeh, Ahmad Fatfat, Antoine Zahra, Michel Moussa, and Serge Tersarkissian, in addition to the Parliament’s Secretary General, Adnan Daher.

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Makkari said that it had been agreed upon holding a legislative House session to be scheduled by the Speaker, in order to look into seven blueprints on food safety and public finance.

For his part, MP Zahra reminded of the Lebanese Forces’ position from holding a legislative session amid a presidential vacuum.

“According to articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Constitution, legislation cannot take place amid the absence of a president of the republic,” he explained.

“But we agreed on legislating the urgent drafts,” he indicated.

“We don’t see the necessity to hold a legislative session and I announce, in the name of the Lebanese Forces, that we must not carry on as if the presidential vacuum was nothing,” he stressed.

“I repeat that we are ready to legislate in order to reproduce power and to endorse the state budget,” he concluded.

SOURCE: NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON