Berri wants top Lebanese Army post for Shiites: report

BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has reportedly requested that the Lebanese Army commander post, which is traditionally allocated to a Maronite Christian, be given to a Shiite.

Berri’s proposal was made during talks with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, Al-Liwaa newspaper reported Tuesday.

It said Berri pointed out to Aoun that there are three top security positions in Lebanon – army commander, and the heads of General Security and the Internal Security Forces.

Berri reportedly suggested to Aoun that he was willing to give the General Security post to a Maronite in return for the army commander position, currently headed by Gen. Jean Kahwaji.

When contacted by The Daily Star, Berri’s office declined to comment on the report.

Al-Liwaa, citing ministerial sources, ruled out the possibility that Brig. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim could be appointed General Security chief. Ibrahim, who is currently deputy army intelligence chief, was recently suggested for the post by Hezbollah. Al-Liwaa reported that Berri, had also rejected the appointment.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Farid Makari said it was a mistake to give the General Security post to a Shiite and called for “fixing the error.”

“We should fix the error of the previous years that resulted in giving the General Security director general post to the Shiite community, and return it to Christians, as was the case in the past,” Makari said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Jul-12/Berri-wants-top-Lebanese-Army-post-for-Shiites-report.ashx#ixzz1Ruv9d2l0
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Categories: Asia, Lebanon

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