BERRI BROACHES DEVELOPMENTS WITH BRITISH AMBASSADOR, MEETS FREE PATRIOTIC MOVEMENT HEAD, RECEIVES INFORMATION MINISTER WITH ACCOMPANYING DELEGATION

House Speaker, Nabih Berri, on Monday received at the Second Presidency in Ain El-Tineh, British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamish Cowell. Discussions reportedly touched on latest developments in Lebanon and the region, and bilateral relations between the two countries. Speaker Berri also received in Ain el-Tineh, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, in the presence of 'Strong Lebanon' Bloc MP Ghassan Atallah, and Speaker Berri's Advisor Ali Hamdan. Discussions touched on political developments, especially the presidential dossier and field developments in light of Israel's continued aggression against Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, as well as legislative affairs. Bassil pointed out after the meeting that 'the discussion touched on the presidential issue and not linking the presidency to the events in southern Lebanon, Gaza and the region.' Bassil said: 'On the contrary, this should be an incentive for elections and not a reason not to elect and wait for any settlement.' He also indicated: 'I do not carry an initiative and this is not my job, but it is my responsibility and that of the 'Strong Lebanon' bloc to seek to work with everyone when we see that there is an opportunity, regardless of its size, to fulfill the constitutional entitlement.' Bassil also considered that 'the real settlement is the understanding between the Lebanese,' noting that 'we will not succeed in electing a president without establishing an understanding, and the understanding must be based on a consensual president, and hence the idea of ??consultation or dialogue has emerged.' This afternoon, Speaker Berri received in Ain El-Tineh, Caretaker Minister of Information, Ziad Makary, with an accompanying delegation that included: Director General of the Ministry, Dr. Hassan Falha, Director of the National News Agency (NNA) Ziad Harfouch, Director of Radio Lebanon Mohammed Gharib, Head of the Ministry's Lebanese Studies and Publications Directorate, Khodor Majed, Program Director at Radio Lebanon (Radio Liban), Rita Nouja im El Roumi, Diwan Department Head Walid Al-Flaiti, and a number of senior Ministry employees. Discussions reportedly touched on political developments and affairs related to the conditions of the Ministry of Information and its employees. Source: National News Agency - Lebanon