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Berri starts official visit to Iraq, meets PM Abdul Mahdi

House Speaker, Nabih Berri, started last night (Sunday) an official visit to Iraq, and met with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in presence of a number of ministers and officials, including Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali al-Ameri.

Talks reportedly touched on the means to develop ties and cooperation between Lebanon and Iraq, in addition to the latest developments in the region.

Abdul Mahdi and Berri held afterwards an extended meeting which included former PM of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki, and a panel of lawmakers and various political, religious and judicial figures.

Welcoming Berri, Abdul Mahdi pinned hope on this visit to strengthen the bilateral relations, stressing that Lebanon has a lot to offer to Iraq and vice versa.

He also heaped praise on Lebanon's role and productivity at multiple levels.

For his part, Berri highlighted the importance of national unity among the Lebanese who, according to him, "can make further achievements thanks to their unity."

"Lebanon, this small country, managed to defeat Israel not once, but over and over again, thanks to unity," he said.

"Today, we have a deterrent force against the Israeli enemy, and it is capable of confronting the enemy and scoring more victories," he added.

"Just like we defeated Israel with our unity, we also defeated Daesh and terrorism," he recalled.

"If it weren't for national unity, victory would have been harder if not impossible," he stressed.

Berri continued that Lebanon would not yield up any modicum of its territorial waters.

"Iraq can play a crucial role at the regional level," he said, highlighting the necessity to bolster the policy of openness.

Berri also indicated that Iraq could play a bigger role in the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Turning to Lebanon, the Speaker assured that the security situation was as best as could be, adding that the key crisis in the country was the economic condition, which he depicted as serious.

"We must work earnestly to reduce public deficit; otherwise, Lebanon might be faced with negative consequences," he warned.

Source: National News Agency

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