BEIRUT: Hezbollah official Sheikh Naim Qassem Tuesday urged his rivals to avoid chicanery in drafting the Cabinet’s policy statement, saying any such attempt would be futile as the resistance is now a "Lebanese reality.”
“The resistance is a reality and a destiny. It was the first supporter of the state and its strength is in facing challenges. There is no point in playing smart, looking for ways to remove this solid strategy,” Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general, told reporters at his office.
“The resistance is no longer a proposal or an idea that can be questioned. It is fixed, just like Lebanon. The right of the resistance in the policy statement is a given and one of its primary premises,” he added.
His remarks come as ministers struggle to draft the Cabinet’s policy statement.
The March 14 coalition insists that the clause dealing with the resistance, known as the “Army, people and resistance” formula, should be dropped in favor of one that clearly places the resistance under the authority of the state.
However, the Hezbollah-led March 8 camp has rejected the demand, arguing that resistance against Israel is an inherent right.
The clause relating to the resistance represents the remaining hurdle for ministers drafting the policy statement.
During his brief chat with the press, Qassem said Israel and takfiris represented a danger to Lebanon and that political stability was needed to address the two challenges.
“The all-embracing Cabinet was the first [step toward political stability] and now we call on our partners to continue this step and not present obstacles to do away with the resistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tammam Salam met with several officials including MP Qassem Hashem from Speaker Nabih Berri's Liberation and Development parliamentary bloc.
Hashem said the prime minister remained optimistic that rival parties would reach an understanding over the policy statement before the end of the Constitutional deadline on March 16.
“I emphasized the need for adherence to national principles in the ministerial statement, not to overlook the resistance, and reach an understanding,” he said.