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Future bloc to Iran: hands off Lebanon

Members of the Future bloc meet in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

BEIRUT: The Future parliamentary bloc Friday urged Iran to put a stop to Hezbollah’s military role in Syria, predicting a protracted war next door with no winners, and said the wave of bombings in Lebanon could only be tackled through a national initiative.

“The Future bloc calls on Iran to keep its hands off Lebanon and stop dragging Hezbollah further into the Syrian quagmire ..., particularly since developments indicate a protracted crisis [in Syria] that will produce no winner,” the lawmakers said in a statement at the end of their weekly meeting.

Last year, Hezbollah acknowledged that it was fighting alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking an end to the Syrian leader’s rule.

The Future bloc also condemned repeated Syrian shelling of border towns in the north and northeast of Lebanon.

“The only realistic solution would be for the Lebanese Army, backed by U.N. peacekeepers, to deploy along the border with Syria to control the borders in all directions and [prevent] any violations, regardless from which side,” the bloc said.

The bloc also condemned the Feb. 1 and Feb. 3 bombing attacks in the northeastern town of Hermel and Shoufeit, south of Beirut, saying “terrorism is targeting all of Lebanon and all the Lebanese.”

“The only way to counter terrorism is through a national solution and through constitutional state institutions as well as security and military [apparatuses] that implement the state’s sovereignty over all Lebanese territories, supported by all the Lebanese people,” said the statement.

The MPs also slammed the “mysterious” drone flights over the headquarters of the Lebanese Forces in Maarab, stressing that “security and military agencies must take a clear stance and serious measures to confront these blatant attacks on Lebanese sovereignty and the freedom and dignity of the Lebanese.”

The LF has on several occasions noted the presence of an unidentified aircraft in the airspace above the LF HQ, which is also the residence of the party’s leader, Samir Geagea.

Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Tuesday the Army was mulling the possible deployment of anti-aircraft guns to shoot down the drone spotted over Maarab.

The Future Movement lawmakers also hailed the National Charter announced Wednesday by the Maronite Church for “stressing the core principles described in the Baabda Declaration,” which calls for distancing Lebanon from regional conflicts, particularly the Syria war.

The statement also praised orders by Saudi King Abdullah to punish Saudi citizens who fight in conflicts outside the kingdom.

“This should motivate other countries, including Lebanon, to make a similar decision,” the bloc said.

 

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Summary

The Future parliamentary bloc Friday urged Iran to put a stop to Hezbollah's military role in Syria, predicting a protracted war next door with no winners, and said the wave of bombings in Lebanon could only be tackled through a national initiative.

Last year, Hezbollah acknowledged that it was fighting alongside forces loyal to President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking an end to the Syrian leader's rule.

The Future bloc also condemned repeated Syrian shelling of border towns in the north and northeast of Lebanon.

The statement also praised orders by Saudi King Abdullah to punish Saudi citizens who fight in conflicts outside the kingdom.


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