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Opposition confusion

March 22nd, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

A Lebanese opposition leader, Christian Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir (below), has called for a coalition government to be formed – split evenly between the opposition and loyalists. In a visit to the US he called for the international community not to interfere in Lebanon. But he has changed his stance on Hizbollah – he now wants them to lay down their arms.

Meanwhile Lebanon’s main opposition leader Walid Jumblatt (below) has dropped his calls for President Emile Lahoud to resign. But he says he still will not join a coalition government. He has told the pro-Syrian PM to hurry up and form a government without him so that an election can be called (under the constitution a government must be in office to call an election).

He said he’s confident of winning the election (although it’s not clear what post he’d take: under the confessional system established by the French the President must be Christian, the post of PM is reserved for a Sunni, and the Speaker must be Shia’a).

Meanwhile, in a speech at the Mukhtarah on Saturday, Jumblatt spoke about Lebanon’s future relationship with Syria while still blaming them for Hariri’s murder:
“We will stretch our hand, despite our wound, to Syria for the sake of maintaining our historical, political and social relations with it. We will do so also to protect Syria because I can perceive a certain threatening wave coming.”

He rejected UN Resolution 1559:
“We have called for implementing the Al-Ta’if Agreement from the start. We opposed Resolution 1559.”

And he affirmed his support for Hizbollah:
“Despite all that has happened, it was Hezbollah that liberated Lebanon from Israeli occupation. We
will talk with Hezbollah. There is no escape from this dialogue. Hezbollah is a segment of Lebanese society on the basis of the collective enmity towards Israel.”

He noted that large sections of the Palestinian Druze population are still repressed by Israel.

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