Lebanon News

MP Fayyad calls for enhancing Hezbollah-FPM MOU

File: Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah meets Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun. (Handout)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad Saturday called for further developing the Memorandum of Understanding his party has with MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement.

“We are holding on to this understanding and we call for enhancing and developing it without affecting the distinctiveness of the concerned sides,” he said during a ceremony in Sultaniyeh, south Lebanon.

Fayyad was referring to an MOU signed in 2006 that forged an alliance between the FPM and Hezbollah.

His comments come as hurdles in the Cabinet formation process led by Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam and President Michel Sleiman persisted, including over issue of the rotation of ministerial portfolios which Aoun opposes.

Sources close to Salam told The Daily Star Friday that the prime minister-designate plans to form an all-embracing political Cabinet early next week, despite Hezbollah’s warning that the exclusion of Aoun risked the collapse of the government.

Aoun has refused to budge on his opposition to the idea of rotating ministerial portfolios in an all-embracing Cabinet based on an 8-8-8 lineup as it would deprive his son-in-law from retaining the Energy Ministry portfolio.

The 8-8-8 proposal was part a compromise reached last month by the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition, the Future Movement and MP Walid Jumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party in a bid to break the 10-month-old Cabinet impasse.

The MOU signed between Aoun and Hezbollah in Feb. 2006 primarily stipulates the safe return of Lebanese who collaborated with Israel prior to the withdrawal of the Jewish state from the southern region. It also noted the delineation of the poorly demarcated border with Syria, the disarmament of Palestinian refugee camps and that political parties should distance themselves from regional conflicts.





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