BEIRUT: The remaining contentious issue between Lebanon’s rival political camps is Hezbollah’s arms, Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat said, an issue Hezbollah would not discuss in a national dialogue committee.
“The only disputed issue is the possession of arms and [Hezbollah] MP Mohammad Raad has refused to discuss this issue with the national dialogue committee,” Fatfat told Voice of Lebanon radio station Wednesday, adding that everything the committee had agreed on in previous meetings had been reversed.
Fatfat’s criticism of the committee casts further doubt on the possibility of a resumption of dialogue to discuss dividing issues between the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance and the March 14 coalition.
The MP’s comments came the day after the head of the Future Movement and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he was committed to national dialogue on the condition that it discusses the issue of Hezbollah’s arsenal.
In a television interview on MTV Tuesday night, Hariri also ruled out discussion of the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, another issues which sharply divides the two blocs.
Fatfat reiterated the March 14 coalition’s commitment to peaceful opposition, saying: “It is the Lebanese people's right and duty to resist any political decisions in a democratic, political way.”
The March 14 coalition has launched a fierce campaign against Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government following the collapse of Hariri’s Cabinet, forced by the resignation of March 8 ministers in January this year.
Fatfat described Mikati as a “tool” for Hezbollah and reiterated Hariri’s allegations that Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad had brought down Hariri’s Cabinet.
“There is no communication with Prime Minister Najib Mikati who is acting like a tool for a decision that was made by President Bashar Assad and Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah. Therefore, the major decision making is not in the hands of Mikati, but [of Nasrallah].”
March 14 lawmakers had repeatedly described Mikati’s arrival to power as an armed coup, claiming that his Cabinet is a Hezbollah-Syrian government.