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Geagea mocks National Dialogue outcomes

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 mocked the outcome of the recent National Dialogue session headed by President Michel Sleiman at Baabda Palace and said Hezbollah only wanted to appear as though it was willing to engage in the issue of its weapons.

“We are with any serious dialogue, but in fact the Baabda declaration reminded me of civics lessons we used to take at intermediate school,” Geagea said in an interview with Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh.

Rival political leaders agreed on June 11 during their first National Dialogue session in over 18 months to commit themselves to dialogue and political, security and media pacification as well as avoid speeches that fuel sectarian incitement.

In their second meeting on June 25, political leaders called on the government to set up a mechanism for disarming Palestinian groups outside refugee camps and agreed to discuss a platform for a national defense strategy to be presented by President Michel Sleiman in July.

Geagea said Hezbollah was not serious about the dialogue even though Sleiman was trying hard to reach concrete results on the national defense strategy.

“Hezbollah is not ready for a serious dialogue and the party is sitting at the table ... to present itself of being supportive of dialogue,” the March 14 coalition members said.

March 14 parties are seeking a defense strategy that would eventually integrate Hezbollah’s arsenal into the Lebanese Army, while the party is adamant on keeping its arms.

 

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