BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s withdrawal from Syria is the primary solution to safeguarding Lebanon from the repercussions of regional turmoil, head of the Future bloc MP Fouad Siniora said Friday.
“Something is dragging the country into minefields ... because it is involving Lebanon in things we cannot tolerate: it is the role Hezbollah is playing in Syria and its fighting alongside the regime,” Siniora told reporters in his office in the coastal city of Sidon.
Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, Siniora continued, violated not only the policy of disassociation but also the Baabda Declaration, which Lebanese leaders unanimously adopted in 2012 to distance the country from regional conflicts, particularly the war next door.
“The only way out is to prevent this fire and this raging volcano in Syria and Iraq from approaching ... but that’s not enough,” he said.
“Efforts should be exerted at the political level to strengthen civil peace and unity among Lebanese and this is the role of political parties.”
Three suicide bombings in less than a week have raised concerns that the ongoing crisis in Syria and the quickly deteriorating situation in Iraq may spread to Lebanon.
Siniora said the government and politicians should work relentlessly to restore and strengthen confidence in Lebanon and revitalize its ailing economy, which has been heavily affected by the poor security situation in the country.
The former prime minister also spoke about the presidential election deadlock, saying a strong candidate was a neutral one.
“A strong president is not someone affiliated with a political group," he said. "A president is the symbol of the country’s unity, [someone] who can also bring [rivals] together rather than belonging to one group ... contrary to what some have been promoting."