BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman insisted Friday that the new Cabinet's policy statement include the Baabda Declaration, which seeks to maintain Lebanon's neutrality regarding regional conflicts, especially the Syrian crisis.
“The Baabda Declaration has become an invariable principle of [Lebanon’s] National Charter, which, consequently, must top ministerial statements of [successive] governments,” Sleiman told a conference on land issues in Kaslik, north of Beirut.
"Everyone needs this Declaration and will demand that it be enforced.”
Sleiman hinted that “the land, the people and common values” should replace the controversial tripartite equation “The Army, the people and the resistance.”
"The land, the people and common values is the permanent tripartite," Sleiman maintained.
The Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition has insisted that the tripartite formula enshrining the resistance be adopted by this government as it has been by previous governments. The March 14 coalition and Sleiman want the policy statement to include the Baabda Declaration.
Sleiman also said that political and military decisions are the exclusive domain of Constitutional institutions.
The president called for a solution to return the nearly 1 million Syrian refugees home “because they pose a substantial threat to the land, the wealth and the demographic balance, as well as to national integration and resources.”