BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Ministers fail once again to resolve resistance issue

File - Caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour speaks during a press conference at the ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. (Hasan Shaaban/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: The ministerial committee tasked with drafting the Cabinet’s policy statement failed once again to reach a consensus over the divisive issue of the resistance.

"There are some issues that are still subject to dispute and discussion but ... there is no impasse,” Health Minister Wael Abu Faour told reporters after the committee meeting at the Grand Serail.

“We will hold consultations in the next two days outside and inside the committee in hopes of reaching an understanding,” he added.

The March 8 bloc, mainly Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, demands that the draft policy statement stress the right of the Lebanese to resist Israeli occupation by all available and legitimate means, which is a departure from the group’s longstanding insistence on the tripartite formula of “The Army, the people and the resistance.”

The formula which was adopted by past governments legitimized Hezbollah’s arms.

But the March 14 coalition insists that the Baabda Declaration should be adopted as the main document in the policy statement and that the issue of the resistance should be placed under the state's authority, which would deny Hezbollah the right to use its arsenal at will against Israeli attacks.

The March 14 has said that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria invalidated the tripartite formula.

Kataeb Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi said the committee, chaired by Prime Minister Tammam Salam, has not yet reached an understanding on the issue of the resistance.

Earlier this week, Abu Faour said rival ministers reached a “satisfactory formula” on the Baabda Declaration.

 

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