BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Opposition wrong to adopt boycott policy: Mikati

Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during a ceremony at the USJ in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, March 16, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati reiterated Saturday his criticism of the opposition’s boycott of government work at Parliament level and urged sides not to wager on the outcome of the Syria crisis.

“A boycott at this time is not right and we have to learn from the mistakes of the past; the mistakes of the Lebanese [1975-90] Civil War and what the policy of isolation and boycotting has led to,” Mikati said in a Facebook post.

Lebanon’s opposition, which has called on the government to resign, says it aims to use all democratic means to pressure the Cabinet to step down over the recent assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who headed the police’s Information Brach and was killed in a car bombing in October.

March 14 coalition figures have also called for the formation of a “neutral, salvation” government to replace the current one to oversee the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The opposition has also boycotted National Dialogue that was relaunched earlier this year by Sleiman to address the issue of Hezbollah’s arsenal and a national defense strategy.

Mikati has offered his resignation but also said that he will not step down until a Cabinet is formed so as not to plunge the country into the unknown.

The prime minister also urged Saturday all parties to remain united in the face of regional turmoil in order to protect the country from repercussions of the unrest in the area.

He also echoed President Michel Sleiman’s call to rival groups in the country not to bet on the outcomes of the Syrian crisis.

“Today, we are going through very difficult circumstances and we should be united and not await what will happen in Syria because whatever happens, we should fortify the Lebanese state in order for this nation to remain one,” Mikati said.

 

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