Lebanon News

Hezbollah says working to reconcile March 8 factions

Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem speaks in front of students at the LU in Hadath, Lebanon, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said Tuesday his party was working tirelessly to reconcile differences between members of the March 8 coalition.

“We as Hezbollah are exerting every effort, night and day, to reconcile the majority forces, because if we are united and cooperative when it comes to various issues, we can accomplish a lot,” Qassem said during an Iftar at a high-school in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

Qassem also said that differences between Hezbollah and its allies in the majority coalition should be resolved behind closed doors, as sparring over issues in the media would only benefit their opponents.

Hezbollah and the Amal Movement have differed with their ally the Free Patriotic Movement over Parliament’s recent approval of a bill that would employ many contract workers full-time with Electricite Du Liban.

The move prompted the FPM ministers to boycott a Cabinet session and sparked suspicion of a possible rift between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement on one side and the FPM on the other, particularly after the latter’s Energy Minister Gebran Bassil blamed the resistance party for what happened.

Media reports have said that Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh launched contacts to resolve the dispute between the allies, though Hezbollah has repeatedly said that its alliance with the FPM is firm.

During his speech late Monday, Qassem urged the Cabinet, which is dominated by March 8, to strive to resolve various issues and “not fall prey to the blackmail practiced by the opposition.”





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