The speaker of Lebanon’s parliament, Nabih Berri, declared on Thursday that talks between Lebanese political rivals discussing ways to solve a political crisis caused by politicians failing to reach a solution on issues such as high-level security appointments have been postponed.
The "National dialogue" arranged by Nabih Berri was set to last for three days and started on Tuesday. The talks were aimed at finding ways to solve a deadlock that has paralysed the government and led to weeks of protests.
Thousands of Lebanese protesters took to the streets in anger over corruption and government incompetence to find a solution to a trash disposal crisis in July.
Lebanese security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse an anti-government protest on Thursday in Beirut. Protesters threw projectiles and rocks at riot police, injuring six policemen. About three dozen people were taken to the hospital suffering from suffocation due to the tear gas. The police blocked the way to the Lebanese Parliament in the commercial district.
Final talks were supposed to be held on Thursday but Berri postponed the next session until Oct. 26 after the Beirut protests turned violent.
Following the influx of 1 million refugees into Lebanon due to the war in neighbouring Syria, the political crisis in the country has intensified. Lebanon’s opposition bloc has been supported by Saudi Arabia and Iran, which also back the warring sides in Syria.
Since May 2014, Lebanon has been without a president, as parliament has failed to meet the quorum needed to elect a new one. The parliament has also postponed elections and extended its own mandate twice.
Behind the politic deadlock is the conflict between the the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies - including Christian politician Michel Aoun - and the Saudi-backed mainly Sunni pro-Western Future Movement, led by politician Saad al-Hariri and his allies.
Both parties disagree on a wide spectrum of issues, mainly the Syrian civil war which started in March 2011 and has displaced millions of people, 1.1 million of whom are currently in Lebanon.
The Syrian conflict has been ongoing since March 2011. Over 300,000 people have been killed and millions have been displaced internally and internationally due to the conflict.