Lebanon News

Geagea defends Sleiman against Hezbollah claims

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea speaks during a ceremony in Byblos, Lebanon, Tuesday, April 10, 2012. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea threw his weight behind President Michel Sleiman in comments published Monday, saying the recent critical comments by the head of state of Hezbollah reflected the mainstream views in Lebanon.

“A big salute to President Sleiman. What he said Friday was on behalf of all of us and actually reflects the [views] of the majority of Lebanese who are fed up with Hezbollah’s actions and practices in dealing with them at all strategic, military, security, political, media and personal levels,” the LF leader told Al-Mustaqbal newspaper.

Sleiman and Hezbollah were locked in harsh rhetoric over the weekend on whether a government policy statement should include the resistance clause.

“Based on how Hezbollah views the state, its institutions and the presidency, no one should be surprised by [Hezbollah’s] positions,” Geagea said.

“To Hezbollah the head of state is the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Council; and, in [Hezbollah’s] opinion, our status in Lebanon must be a copy of Iran,” Geagea added.

The spat began Friday when Sleiman implicitly blamed Hezbollah’s support for the tripartite “The Army, people and resistance” formula for the delay in approving the Cabinet’s policy statement, an essential move before the government can go to Parliament to seek a vote of confidence.

“All sides should not cling to wooden [inflexible] equations that hinder the release of the policy statement,” Sleiman told a conference in Kaslik, north of Beirut.

Hezbollah struck back Saturday, saying Sleiman needed “specialized care” because he could no longer differentiate between gold and wood.





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