The invitation of Libya to take part in the Arab Economic Summit in Beirut has sparked controversy between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
The summit is scheduled to be held in Beirut on Jan. 19-20, but Nabih Berri, who heads AMAL Movement, is rejecting to invite Libya because of the disappearance of Shiite cleric and founder of the movement Moussa al-Sadr in Libya in1978.
Lebanese media reported that a third country could seek to convince Libya to voluntarily withdraw from the Beirut summit to avoid a likely confrontation with Speaker Nabih Berri and to preserve the security of the summit and its participants.
Lebanese sources said the Shiites have threatened to take to the streets of Beirut to protest Libya’s participation in the summit, which could put the fate of the entire summit at stake.
A video was posted on YouTube on Sunday showing a group of Shiite protesters taking down the Libyan flag from the street, ripping it up and replacing it with the flag of AMAL Movement.
The desecration of the flag has sparked Libyans’ anger on social media, who demanded the Presidential Council to boycott the summit and submit a strongly worded condemnation to its Lebanese counterpart.