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Wahhab praises longtime rival Hariri

  • Arab Tawhid Party head Wiam Wahhab says he supports Future Leader Hariri's moderate Sunni politics. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Former Minister Wiam Wahhab Sunday hailed the stances taken by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, saying the Future Movement leader represented a moderate Sunni political line.

“Hariri’s stand toward the recent events was excellent,” Wahhab said in a TV interview Sunday. “I am for the strengthening of the moderate Sunni voice represented by Saad Hariri.”

He defended Hariri’s absence from the country, saying that “his concern over his own security is serious.”

Wahhab has been a longtime opponent of Hariri’s politics and the Future Movement’s positions, and had once harshly excoriated the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating the assassination of Hariri’s father.

“Today, Future Movement head Saad Hariri enjoys legitimacy, and this is clear in the behavior of the movement’s ministers,” Wahhab said in a TV interview.

Wahhab also praised ministers affiliated to Hariri’s party for “implementing Tripoli’s security plan, raiding the hotels and arresting Omar Bakri Fustoq,” saying it clearly shows that “Hariri enjoys legitimacy.”

On the contrary, he criticized former Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s politics, saying the latter’s problem was “trying to prove that he is a Sunni every day.”

“[Mikati] behaved as a representative of one specific region,” Wahhab added. “He turned out to be linked to the warlords of Tripoli, and the country was severely harmed because of his behavior.”

Separately, Wahhab said that Hezbollah’s engagement in the Syrian war protected Lebanon against terrorism.

“If Hezbollah withdraws from Syria, what happened to Iraq will happen to us,” he said.

Wahhab also revealed that U.N. Undersecretary General for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman has recently met three times with Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian President Bashar Assad's media and political advisor.   

The Tawhid Movement head said that Turkey and Qatar were responsible for the recent events in Iraq. He blamed the two countries for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Great Syria, saying that Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, “is affected by terrorism.”

 
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Summary

Former Minister Wiam Wahhab Sunday hailed the stances taken by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, saying the Future Movement leader represented a moderate Sunni political line.

Wahhab has been a longtime opponent of Hariri's politics and the Future Movement's positions, and had once harshly excoriated the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is investigating the assassination of Hariri's father.

Separately, Wahhab said that Hezbollah's engagement in the Syrian war protected Lebanon against terrorism.

Wahhab also revealed that U.N. Undersecretary General for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman has recently met three times with Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian President Bashar Assad's media and political advisor.


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