Lebanon News

Accusations fly between Future, Hizbullah MPs

BEIRUT: The Future Movement and Hizbullah traded accusations Tuesday of raising sectarian tensions and attempting to take over security and judicial state institutions amid ongoing debate over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Hizbullah MP Hassan Fadlallah said the Future Movement should seek the truth by putting false witnesses on trial and accusing Israel of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s murder, while the Future Movement renewed its support for the STL.

The Future Movement bloc slammed Tuesday Hizbullah’s recent military presence at Rafik Hariri’s International Airport, saying it “terrorized citizens and conveyed a worrisome image of Lebanon that weakened the Lebanese state and its stability.”

“What were weapons and the resistance’s security apparatus doing on the airport’s ground and in the honor hall? And what is the noble goal behind the raid on the airport and its halls?” a statement by the Future Movement asked after its meeting headed by MP Fouad Siniora.

On Sunday, Hizbullah members escorted former Major General Jamil al-Sayyed from his plane and brought him to the airport’s guest hall, where he held a news conference without previous authorization from the Foreign Ministry.

Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud on Tuesday said that guns seen at the airport on Sunday belonged to the security personnel of officials.

Future MPs also reiterated support for Cabinet’s policy statement backing the STL, saying the court would help prevent future “political crimes.”

Fadlallah, meanwhile, said in a statement late Tuesday that state institutions could best be preserved by “preventing their exploitation for political gains.” He added that “seeking the truth comes only through putting false witnesses on trial and uncovering those behind them as well as pointing accusation against Israel.”

“This team should let go of its illusions to possibly control the state’s decisions, exploit its institutions to serve its interests, hit the resistance and disarm it, which Israel and its allies failed to do,” he added.

Fadlallah also accused the Future Movement of attempting to take over state institutions following the murder in 2005 by oppressing freedom of speech and accusing Syria and certain Lebanese parties of involvement in the killing.

“This led to hampering Lebanese-Syrian ties and making unjust accusations against Lebanese officials which led to their arrest for four years … and more importantly losing the truth behind the murder,” he added in his statement.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri had accused Damascus of involvement in the assassination before saying he “made a mistake by making a political accusation against Damascus.”

In its statement earlier Tuesday, the Future Movement stressed its commitment to the Taif Accord particularly with regard to “excellent ties” with Syria based on the respect of both countries’ sovereignty and independence.





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