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THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
09:03 AM Beirut time
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Hezbollah: March 14 covering up its involvement in Syria crisis
Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad. (Archive Photo/The Daily Star)
Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad. (Archive Photo/The Daily Star)
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BEIRUT: Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad slammed Friday the March 14 coalition's memo to President Michel Sleiman on Syria's violations of Lebanese territory, calling it a cover-up for the political alliance’s involvement in the crisis in Lebanon’s neighbor.

"This memo aims at covering up the involvement of March 14 and its participation in the aggression against Syria via money, weapons and direct contact with armed groups in Syria," Raad said during a news conference at Parliament.

The MP also said that the memo handed to President Michel Sleiman earlier this week calling for the deployment of international troops along the border with Syria reflects a “complete turning away” from Israel’s aggression against Lebanon.

“This group handed the president a hostile memo that violates the Taef Accord and the Cooperation and Coordination Agreement between the two countries,” said Raad, who is the head of its parliamentary bloc.

The petition, which was handed to Sleiman by Future parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora after having been signed by 58 lawmakers, urges the expulsion of Syria's Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel-Karim Ali.

It requests that Sleiman consider Ali persona non grata “for playing a security and intelligence role” rather than a diplomatic one.

Syria’s violations along the poorly demarcated border with Lebanon have prompted Prime Minister Najib Mikati to instruct Lebanon’s envoy to Damascus to send a letter to Syria’s Foreign Ministry to complain about “the continuous shelling of Lebanese border towns from nearby Syrian military bases.”

The shelling, which has occurred sporadically since the uprising in Syria began last year, has led to the loss of innocent lives and material damage.

In his news conference Friday, the Hezbollah MP also said that the memo by his rivals “only added to our belief that if the government were under the administration of the March 14 group, there would be war with Syria and the destruction of Lebanon – which are the goals of the group’s masters.”

Hezbollah has on several occasions accused its rivals of serving U.S. and Western interests, and by extension Israel.

“The memo doubts the ability of the Lebanese Army and technically rejects its deployment along the Lebanese-Syrian border,” Raad said, adding that the petition did not reflect “keenness” on maintaining Lebanon’s sovereignty.

“Instead, it reflects the American project, which seeks to tear the region apart, sabotage Lebanon and oblige it to repudiate the Taef Accord and its terms,” he added.

Raad also urged Sleiman to be aware of the dangers of such a memo.

“We have asked for a probe into the so-called violations [on the border] to determine which side is the instigator,” he added.

 
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