Lebanon News

March 14 announces new 'national council'

March 14 annual conference marking the 10th anniversary of the “Cedar Revolution” movement at BIEL in Beirut, Saturday, March 14, 2015. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: The March 14 secretariat announced Saturday the creation of a “national council” and a preparation committee to develop the bloc’s new political platform.

“The General Secretary announces the creation of the National Council for March 14 forces,” Fares Soueid, the head of March 14’s secretariat, announced Saturday.

“Every person who attended this conference will be automatically assigned as a member of the council’s general assembly.”

The announcement came after a speech by former Prime Minsiter Fouad Siniora, according to the bloc’s official statement at the group’s annual conference.

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the “Cedar Revolution” movement that ended the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, the conference was held at BIEL, Downtown Beirut.

Soueid announced that a preparation committee has been formed to prepare the new bylaws and political platform for March 14 within a deadline of two months.

The committee’s members included MPs Marwan Hamadeh, Fadi Karam, Joseph Maalouf, Jean Ogassapian, Ahmad Fatfat and other officials and activists from factions affiliated with March 14.

After the end of the conference, Fatfat expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the committee did not include “even one single woman.”

Soueid responded by saying that a woman named Zeina Mansour volunteered to join the committee as he ended the announcement.

In the official statement read by Siniora, March 14 reiterated the principles on which the coalition was founded and attacked the rival political camp led by Hezbollah.

“The Persian plan wishes to engage the region in a war, by creating a clash between Sunnis and Shiites,” Siniora said.

He accused Iran of causing turmoil in the region for the sake of using it as a chip “on international negotiations tables.”

Siniora slammed Hezbollah for participating in wars outside Lebanon and thus involving Lebanon in regional conflicts, and accused the party of intentionally extending presidential vacuum.

March 14 also denounced the Syrian regime as being the “center of terrorism” in the region and accused it of committing crimes against humanity.

The statement also warned about the increasingly high number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, who have become “a burden and a threat.”

 

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