BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea said Tuesday dialogue with Hezbollah was useless and that Speaker Nabih Berri’s initiative would not lead to tangible results.
“Our experience with dialogue since 2005 has been a waste of time,” Geagea told reporters after meeting with a delegation from Berri’s bloc,, referring to the speaker’s dialogue initiative.
“No one can be against dialogue in principle but we do not support useless talks [using up time] better used for other purposes,” he added.
Berri has put forward a five-day conclave for dialogue sessions to be attended by March 8 and March 14 leaders, in addition to Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, to address divisive issues, including the makeup and policy statement of a new Cabinet, a national defense strategy, means to end Lebanese intervention in Syria and the new electoral law.
The speaker tasked a delegation made up of his bloc’s MPs to explain the proposal to rival political parties.
“Dialogue with a party that ties everything to a certain ideology and strategies which extend beyond Lebanon will not lead to anything,” Geagea said, referring to Hezbollah.
Geagea reiterated the stance of his allies in the March 14 coalition, that dialogue should not address the formation of the Cabinet, given that the latter falls under the prerogative of the PM-designate and the president.
"For a dialogue table to convene in order to form a government is a totally different matter,” he said.
Geagea said Berri's initiative was not the needed solution for the present time, saying: “This proposal is not rejected but it won't lead to anything, but we informed the MPs of a proposal for the speaker that could achieve the desired goals.”
Geagea also said he differed with the speaker on a primary issue: The inclusion of the tripartite formula of “The Army, the people and the resistance” in the ministerial statement.
"This formula will be used as a cover for other things, that should not happen, and it harms the presence of the state and the freedom of the citizen,” he said.
Hezbollah maintains that the formula should be part of any future Cabinet ministerial statement, describing it as the only means to defend Lebanon against Israeli aggression.