BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Kataeb MP seeks escalation against Hezbollah

MP Nadim Gemayel attends a press conference in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Kataeb Party MP Nadim Gemayel urged allies in the March 14 coalition to step up a campaign against Hezbollah Thursday, saying this “is the only language they understand.”

“I call on fellow members in the March 14 forces to politically respond to Hezbollah’s attacks on President Michel Sleiman,” Gemayel told a local radio station.

“We need to escalate [a campaign] against Hezbollah because this is the only language they understand,” he added.

Hezbollah and Sleiman have been engaged in a spat over whether to include a resistance clause in a government policy statement still in the works.

Gemayel said Hezbollah does not want a government in Lebanon or a policy statement or a new head of state.

“We, though, want a strong president who commits to national principles and not Hezbollah or Iran-imposed principles,” he stressed.

He said the Baabda Declaration is a clear political stance regarding Lebanon’s regional neutrality and non-interference in issues of neighboring countries.

"Just as we do not accept Syrian interference in [Lebanese] affairs, we do not accept [Lebanese] meddling in [Syrian] affairs", Gemayel went on to say.

Hezbollah is militarily involved in the Syrian crisis with fighters fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Last week, Sleiman implicitly blamed Hezbollah’s support for the tripartite 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.

His comments sparked Hezbollah outrage, prompting the resistance group to issue a statement criticizing Sleiman.

Hezbollah said Sleiman needed “specialized care because he could no longer differentiate between gold and wood.”

Sleiman has said that “all sides should not cling to wooden [inflexible] equations that hinder the release of the [Cabinet’s] policy statement.”

 

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Summary

Hezbollah and Sleiman have been engaged in a spat over whether to include a resistance clause in a government policy statement still in the works.

Last week, Sleiman implicitly blamed Hezbollah's support for the tripartite 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.

His comments sparked Hezbollah outrage, prompting the resistance group to issue a statement criticizing Sleiman.


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