BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman slammed Wednesday Hezbollah accusations that Saudi Arabia is behind last month’s twin suicide bombings outside the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon.
Sleiman also called on Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria in light of the assassination that targeted a party commander earlier during the day and which Hezbollah held Israel responsible for.
“It is not allowed to ruin the historic ties with Saudi Arabia by making accusations against it without any evidence,” Sleiman said in a speech delivered in Jbeil during a conference titled “Dialogue, truth and democracy.”
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said in an interview aired Tuesday night that he was convinced a Lebanon-based al-Qaeda group with direct links to Saudi intelligence was behind the Nov. 19 deadly bombing outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
The bombings were claimed by the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, a Lebanon-based Al-Qaeda group.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri also condemned Nasrallah’s statements saying the comments were driven by hatred and accused Hezbollah chief of distorting facts.
Sleiman also reiterated his criticism of any Lebanese party’s involvement in Syria, in an apparent reference to Hezbollah’s military involvement in the battles between Syrian rebels and the Assad regime.
Sleiman said that the country is plunging in a crisis while Israel is fulfilling its aims day after day, calling for redirecting Hezbollah arms.
“Today, Israel fulfilled [yet] another objective,” Sleiman said in reference to the assassination of a Hezbollah commander overnight in the Beirut suburb of Hadath.
Hezbollah accused Israel of being behind the assassination of Hassan Hawlo al-Lakkis who was shot outside his house in St. Therese, Hadath.
“The recent development should prompt [Hezbollah] to reconsider the target of its arms and... the meaning of martyrdom,” Sleiman said.
In a statement later during the day, the president condemned the assassination of Lakkis and said the killing aims at stirring strife in Lebanon.
“This crime is part of an Israeli scheme to fuel sectarian disputes,” said Sleiman as he called on the Lebanese to be wary of such provocative attempts.