BEIRUT: Future MP Ammar Houri Tuesday snubbed Hezbollah’s recent call for reactivating national dialogue, saying that dialogue was senseless while the party refuses to discuss the main points of contention.
“What dialogue and what understanding are they calling for?” Houri asked in an interview with the Voice of Lebanon radio station. “Our conflict with Hezbollah revolves around three main issues which they consider to be off the table."
Hezbollah’s military involvement in the Syrian conflict, the fate of the resistance’s military arsenal and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, are the main divisive issues between Future-led March 14 coalition and their rival March 8 camp.
Houri argued that Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria “would inevitably ease internal tensions and help create a relaxed atmosphere conducive to dialogue and understanding.”
Hezbollah’s deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem, had called on March 14 to submit a political vision for ending the three-month political deadlock that has blocked the election of a new head of state to succeed former President Michel Sleiman, whose tenure expired on May 25.
Commenting on a reported bid to break the stalemate undertaken by MP Walid Jumblatt and Speaker Nabih Berri, Houri said there was no clear initiative for agreeing on a compromise candidate to fill the country’s top post.
“MP Walid Jumblatt a short while ago started a tour of political leaders for the sake of consultation, but until this hour there is no detailed proposal or initiative,” Houri said.
He argued that March 14 was flexible in the sense that it would discuss pulling out its presidential hopeful, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, in favor of a compromise candidate.
“This should open the way for the opposite camp to move closer, but they have not shown any positive response and are still showing stubbornness,” Houri added.
The lawmaker played down expectations that a Saudi-Iranian rapprochement could have positive impact on Lebanon in the imminent future.
“Any positive development in the region would eventually have a positive impact on Lebanon, but I don’t think that any regional understandings would result in a quick and immediate improvement in Lebanon, because it takes time to translate all this on the ground,” Houri said.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited Saudi Arabia Monday, a move seen aimed at repairing strained relations.
The two countries are on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, with Tehran backing President Bashar Assad and Riyadh supporting the rebels trying to topple him.