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Hariri Says Hizbullah's Arms 'a National Problem that Needs a National Solution'
 
 
 
 
 
 
28-02-2011
 
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday stressed that Hizbullah's weapons have become a "national problem" which needs a "national solution."
Hariri called on the Hizbullah-led camp to "confess that this problem has become a national problem par excellence which needs a national solution par excellence, before anything else."

"Because it is poisoning everything else and we will not allow it from now on to poison the memory of our martyrs, all our martyrs: the martyrs of the Cedar Revolution and the martyrs of the resistance against Israel," the caretaker premier said during a meeting at the Center House with Mustaqbal Movement ministers, MPs and officials.

He noted that the March 14 forces "had waited a full month for the answer of the Prime Minister-designate (Najib Miqati) concerning three points: the (new) government's commitment to end the supremacy of weapons over political life in Lebanon, its commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and its commitment to the Constitution of Taef."

"Of course, as everyone expected, the answer did not come. After a full month, the March 14 forces considered the absence of an answer to be an answer in itself, or more explicitly, an absence of decision and an absence of will, and therefore they announced to all the Lebanese that their place was not in this government," Hariri went on to say.

He stressed that "the supremacy of weapons over political and cultural life in Lebanon is the problem … that prevents the regularization of public life in our country."

Hariri accused the rival camp of torpedoing an alleged Saudi initiative to hold a national reconciliation conference in Riyadh.

"We have not heard any of you commenting on the reality of this initiative. All we have heard, once again, were accusations of treason and false allegations," the acting premier said.

"The Lebanese system and the economic, social, cultural, political and constitutional life, as well as the right of the Lebanese people to a secure and safe life, will never be achieved as long as these weapons are ready to be used against your countrymen," Hariri added.

He accused the Hizbullah-led camp of trying to "destroy the image of the President" Michel Suleiman.

"We want to tell you that if you have weapons, this doesn't mean that you are right. The weapons may give control, but they don't give a majority. The majority is produced by the ballot boxes, without weapons."

Hariri declared that the March 14 forces have decided to "take to the streets on March 14, 2011 to refuse the tutelage of weapons over our Constitution and national life."

He called for holding onto the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stressing that "the assassination of Rafik Hariri was not an accident and the assassination of the Cedar Revolution martyrs was not a coincidence."

In an interview with his movement's mouthpiece al-Mustaqbal newspaper published Monday, Hariri stressed that the March 14 forces had rejected on Sunday to be part of Najib Miqati's government that aims at "eliminating" the STL.

"They wanted us to become part of a government that seeks to eliminate the international tribunal from the policy statement," Hariri told the daily, referring to the March 8 forces.

March 14 "saw that it is in the interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese to move to a real national opposition that responds to the requirements of a democratic system," Hariri said.

The new opposition should "preserve the nation" against efforts to target the constitution and the Taef Accord, he added.

When asked whether the March 14 decision to become the new opposition was the start of a campaign for the 2013 parliamentary elections, Hariri said: "This issue is not linked to power. It is about essential things that have affected public life."

He said the next elections will be an opportunity for the Lebanese "to salvage the democratic system" from Hizbullah's arms.

On Sunday, the March 14 forces officially announced their refusal to take part in the country's new government.

The March 14 forces "reject to legitimize the coup … and reject to turn into observers who cannot prevent violations," the coalition said in a statement recited by ex-PM Fouad Saniora after an extraordinary meeting for its 60 MPs at the Bristol Hotel in Beirut.

On January 12, Hizbullah and its allies toppled Saad Hariri's cabinet in a long-running feud over the U.N.-backed STL.

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 without guarantees that his cabinet would 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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