BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Hezbollah has been conscientious with regards to a possible conflict between Iran and Israel and ruled out a near end to the crisis in neighboring Syria, according to his press office Tuesday.
In response to a question on fears of Israel launching a strike against Iran and the possibility of Hezbollah intervening, Mikati said: “Hezbollah's behavior in the last period has been very wise.”
He added that the resistance group agreed on the “Baabda Declaration,” which stipulates that Lebanon remain at a distance from regional and international conflicts as well as the need to spare the country from the negative repercussions of regional tensions and crises.
The Baabda Declaration was formulated in June during the first National Dialogue session this year when rival political leaders gathered at the Presidential Palace in Baabda. The March 14 and March 8 groups agreed to distance Lebanon from regional conflicts, particularly events in Syria.
“I hope that the conviction among Lebanese not to fight any battle on behalf of others is strong,” Mikati, who is in New York, told reporters.
Controversy over Hezbollah's possible role in such a regional matter began after Iran's Maj. Gen. Yahia Safavi said earlier this month that Hezbollah would retaliate against Israel if the Jewish state took any steps against the Islamic Republic.
The prime minister is heading Lebanon’s delegation for the 67th General Assembly at the United Nations in New York which is scheduled for later today.
Mikati is expected to deliver a speech in which he will likely reiterate Lebanon’s dissociation policy toward developments in Syria and call on the international community to offer aid to tens of thousands of displaced Syrians who were forced to flee unrest in their home country.
During his New York visit, Mikati, who attended a reception hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama Monday, will meet with various officials including U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
Speaking to reporters, Mikati spoke about Lebanon’s policy of disassociation, saying it was essential given the division in Lebanon over the Syria crisis.
“We seek to distance Lebanon from repercussions from the Syria,” he told reporters.
Mikati also dimmed hopes of a near end to the 18-month-old crisis in Syria, saying that the international community lacks a clear vision for a solution.
“I see a difficulty in the meantime for a solution to the crisis in Syria and I fear further bloodshed,” Mikati said. “No official I have met [during the visit] has a clear vision for a solution and its timing.”
Echoing the words of several officials in the country, Mikati said the optimal solution in Syria was via dialogue between the opposition and the government but that there was no agreement to implement such a solution.
“This solution was proposed a year-and-half ago without any agreement to implement [it],” he said.
"We certainly condemn bloodshed and during my meeting with the U.N. Envoy Lakhdar Ibrahimi I told him that his first mission should be to stop the bloodshed in Syria," he added.