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Future, Kataeb seek constitutional neutrality
File - MP Elie Marouni leaves the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
File - MP Elie Marouni leaves the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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BEIRUT: The Future Movement and the Kataeb party discussed Tuesday a proposal by Kataeb to include a policy of neutrality in the Lebanese Constitution, as they stressed the need to distance Lebanon from the Syrian crisis.

Kataeb has recently prepared a draft law that calls for amending the preamble of the Constitution to include a clause about maintaining neutrality amid regional conflicts.

“The meeting was positive, we discussed our proposal with the Future bloc and agreed on the majority of its content,” Kataeb MP Elie Marouni told The Daily Star.

The Zahle lawmaker said that their proposal came after “experience proved that Lebanon is afflicted by its involvement in foreign conflicts.”

The lawmaker said the proposal was discussed with Speaker Nabih Berri’s Development and Liberation bloc and MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc, as well as Hezbollah.

He said that lawmakers from Berri and Aoun’s blocs were somewhat responsive to the proposal while Hezbollah totally disregarded it.

“It is obvious Hezbollah is in a different mindset than ours,” he said.

Hezbollah has been involved in fighting alongside President Bashar Asaad’s regime troops against Syrian rebels in Syria despite a Lebanese agreement – the Baabda Declaration – that established Lebanon’s neutrality in the face of regional conflicts.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented, up until Dec. 1, 2013, the death of 232 Hezbollah fighters battling with the regime.

Future MP Samir al-Jisr said the meeting with Kataeb was “very useful and marked by frankness and deep discussions.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 04, 2013, on page 3.
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