Lebanon News

Arslan says politicians should emulate Chouf ‘model of unity’

Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan leaves the Parliament building in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Head of Lebanese Democratic Party Talal Arslan said Monday the situation of Druze in the country was positive and praised as “healthy” political diversity in the Chouf region.

“The situation with the Druze is in safe hands ... It is true that there is political diversity in the mountain and that there are different approaches with regard to political issues but what we did in May 2008 was a model for all Lebanese,” Arslan said on a visit to the Chouf region, including Aley and the upper Metn.

Arslan was referring to street clashes between pro-government and opposition forces in May 2008 that began in Beirut and moved to the Druze-dominant southeast suburbs. Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt and Arslan brokered a cease-fire to end the fighting.

During his trip to the Druze-dominated areas, Arslan described political diversity in the region as “a healthy sign,” and urged rival leaders to imitate the Chouf Mountains' “model of unity.”

“The situation in Lebanon and the region is worrisome. I ask all Lebanese to imitate what we did in the mountains with Walid Jumblatt, particularly in terms of protecting civil peace and what we did on May 11 was a step that the Lebanese should take advantage of and extend it in all Lebanese areas,” he said.

Arslan added that both he and Jumblatt would not allow sectarian strife to reach the mountain or for the region to become a conduit for such strife.





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