BEIRUT: Caretaker State Minister Mohammad Fneish warned Sunday against attempts to eliminate the tripartite formula of the “army, people and resistance.”
“The formula proved its usefulness and effectiveness in facing and deterring Israeli aggression when it liberated land and defeated Israel in the [July-August 2006] war,” Fneish, a Hezbollah official, said during a ceremony in south Lebanon.
“Therefore we cannot compromise it because that would in turn compromise Lebanon's strength,” he added.
He warned that doing away with the tripartite formula would serve the interests of the “Zionist project and its expansionist aspirations” in the region.
The formula of the “Army, the people and the resistance” has been one of the several contentious points obstructing the formation of a new Cabinet under Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam.
Hezbollah, which has repeatedly described the formula as the viable defense mechanism against Israel, insists the formula be included in any future government ministerial statement as has been the case for previous Cabinets.
The March 14 coalition argues the formula lost relevance when Hezbollah sent fighters to Syria to fight alongside the regime of President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking the ouster of the Syrian leader.
“We were never saboteurs in relation to Cabinet formations, state institutions or to [National] Dialogue because we are keen on the nation’s interests, stability and civil peace,” Fneish said.
He added that his party was just as keen “on [the nation’s] immunity and strength which is represented in the formula that was carved by the sacrifices of people, towns and cities and the blood of the martyrs, the prisoners, the handicapped and the detainees.”
Salam has been struggling to form a new Cabinet for a little over five months, faced with conditions and counter conditions from the rival March 8 and the March 15 coalitions.
Fneish reiterated his party’s demand for an “all-encompassing” government lineup with each party represented based on its parliamentary weight.
“[We should] seriously think about eliminating conditions regarding the Cabinet formation and act with humility in order to help the PM-designate form a government capable of at least addressing the people's needs according to a main principle of preserving balance and respecting coexistence,” he said.
He also urged sides in the country no to wager on foreign intervention in neighboring Syria.
"We need to return to adopting rational rhetoric and for some to realize that the country cannot be managed by such speech or by appealing to foreign powers to strike this country or the other,” he said.
Fneish stressed on the importance of returning to national principles, improving political practice and putting an end to wagering on foreign events.