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Hariri on Feb 14 Anniversary: We Won't Accept a State Ruled by Arms under Resistance Alibi
 
 
 
 
 
 
15-02-2011
 
Outgoing premier Saad Hariri on Monday stressed that the March 14 coalition would not agree to the rise of a Lebanese political system ruled by the influence of weapons "under the pretext of resistance" against Israel.
"When we had agreed in the (previous) ministerial Policy Statement on the equation of the people, the army and the Resistance, it was because we believe that the State embraces everyone," Hariri said at a ceremony organized by the March 14 forces to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the assassination of his father, ex-PM Rafik Hariri.
Hariri and 22 others were killed in a massive Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005, an event that sent shockwaves through Lebanon and eventually led to the pullout of Syrian troops after 29 years of domination over the country.

The commemoration of Hariri's murder comes amid a deep political rift between the March 14 camp and the Hizbullah-led coalition as the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon readies to issue its indictments.

"Yes, we don't accept weapons and we don't subjugate to them when they are directed against the Lebanese and when they become a means of blackmail of their stability and security … or when they become a means of pressure on members of parliament to do the opposite of what the voters entrusted them to do," Hariri added.

"Weapons directed against the Lebanese people are weapons of discord, and discord in Lebanon serves only Israel, which is our only enemy," the caretaker premier told a rally of several-thousand people at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center (BIEL).

He described Hizbullah's weapons arsenal as "a controversial issue among the Lebanese."

"In this respect, I commend the adoption by the March 14 forces of the national constants statement issued by the (broad Sunni) meeting of Dar al-Fatwa (on Friday), especially when mentioning the abuses and use of weapons to subjugate others," Hariri went on to say.

He insisted that the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the death of his father "is not American nor French nor Israeli, and doesn't target any group or sect."

"This tribunal represents, in our point of view, the highest degree of human justice. This tribunal will surely punish, with the help of God, only -- and I reiterate: only – the terrorist murderers who targeted many of our (political) figures, starting with prime minister Rafik Hariri," he stressed.

The acting premier noted that Lebanon cannot be governed by a single party, a single individual or a single sect. "And if any person or party or sect think today that they are able to govern alone, let them try," he added.

Hariri, who wept as he prayed over his father's grave in central Beirut earlier in the day, called on his supporters to rally en masse once again on March 14 as they did six years ago, when an estimated one million people gathered in the capital to demand Syria's military withdrawal.

"We began our march to freedom on March 14, 2005 and ... we will resume it on March 14, 2011," he told thousands of cheering supporters.

"On March 14 we will once again say no: no to the hijacking of the voters' choice ... no to armed internal domination."

Hariri announced that he will lead Lebanon's new opposition against a government the March 14 camp says will be under Hizbullah command.

"Today, we are in the opposition because of ... our commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and our belief in the need to protect the Lebanese from weapons."

Hariri also noted that the unsuccessful Saudi-Syrian initiative to broker a solution to the Lebanese crisis was based on one "essential" idea: "A Lebanese national reconciliation conference … in Riyadh under the auspices of the king of Saudi Arabia and in the presence of the Lebanese and Syrian presidents, a number of Arab presidents and the Arab League."

On January 12, Hizbullah and its allies toppled Saad Hariri's cabinet in a long-running feud over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Hizbullah-backed Najib Miqati was then appointed to form a new government, which Hariri's alliance has refused to join and has labeled "Hizbullah's government".

Hariri has refused to join Miqati's government unless he guarantees his cabinet will see the tribunal through.

Hizbullah meanwhile is demanding Lebanon end all cooperation with the court, which it says is a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy.

While Hariri and his allies won Lebanon's last parliamentary election in 2009, shifting alliances today have positioned the Hizbullah-led camp as the majority after Druze leader Walid Jumblat moved closer to the Shiite party.
 
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