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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Sfeir rejects presence of two armies in Lebanon
Sfeir rejects presence of two armies in Lebanon PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 09 December 2009

Presidential Palace Dec 8, 2009
Presidential Palace Dec 8, 2009

Maronite Patriarch calls for transferring Hizbullah’s weapons to army

Sfeir rejects presence of two armies in Lebanon
Maronite Patriarch calls for transferring Hizbullah’s weapons to army
By Elias Sakr
Daily Star staff
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir stressed his rejection on Tuesday of the presence of two armies in the country, a reference to Hizbullah, while urging the transfer of the party’s weapons to the Lebanese Army. The patriarch’s call came ahead of scheduled talks during national dialogue sessions, under the sponsorship of President Michel Sleiman, aimed at reaching an agreement over a defense strategy that defines the resistance’s role, its relation to the Lebanese Army and the state’s authority over war-and-peace decisions.

Following the formation of the new national-unity Cabinet, a heated debate arose between March 14 Christian parties and opposition groups over a clause in the ministerial statement on the resistance’s right to liberate occupied territories independently from the state.

The Lebanese Forces and the Phalange Party along with several independent MPs said article six in the statement conflicted with international resolutions and the state’s monopoly of authority by granting the resistance an independent status.

Article six of the statement highlights “Lebanon’s right to liberate its occupied territories by means of its army, resistance and people.”

“The conventional army is alone to defend the nation and the resistance along with its arms should join the Lebanese Army when everyone resists the enemy,” Sfeir said.

Sfeir’s statement preceded talks with Sleiman at Baabda Palace during which they tackled the issue of Hizbullah’s weapons, upcoming discussions over a national defense strategy, the abolishing of political sectarianism and the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

Sfeir, heading the Maronite Bishops Council, had earlier held talks with Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun after a break in contact between both men in the previous months.

The meeting, which was described as positive, did not, however, lead to an agreement over the issue of Hizbullah’s weapons, though the bishops called for the restriction of arms to the Lebanese Army.

The issue of Hizbullah’s weapons and Aoun’s alliance with the party has been the source of tensions between the patriarchy and the FPM leader in recent months.

On Tuesday, Sfeir argued that a party which works for its personal interests at the expense of nation’s would “be working toward the destruction of the nation.”

“Is it possible to have a conventional army and another one not compliant with [the state’s] legitimacy directing its arms one day toward the enemy and another day toward domestic parties?” Sfeir asked, referring to Hizbullah’s role in the May 7, 2008, clashes.

Bloody clashes broke out on May 7 between pro-opposition and government supporters in Beirut following a Cabinet decision to dismantle Hizbullah’s telecommunication network.

Tackling Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s call to abolish political sectarianism, Sfeir reiterated his earlier statement, stressing the need to abolish political sectarianism from souls before records.

“The implementation of the Taif Accord necessitates the discussions of its articles step by step,” Sfeir added.

Sfeir also emphasized that “democracy dictated that a majority rules and a minority opposed but today they joined in a national unity Cabinet; nevertheless, there are still obstacles which have not been removed yet.”

Christian leaders rejected Berri’s call to form a national committee tasked with abolishing political sectarianism in the current circumstances, saying it would instigate a schism among the Lebanese while others tied it to the full implementation of the Taif Accord.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=109587

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Sfeir Rejects 'Resistance Army' 
 
Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir said Tuesday that he rejects a "resistance army that would one day use its weapons against the enemy and another day domestically."

Sfeir made his remark before heading to Baabda Palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Saad Hariri asserted that parliamentarians are before a difficult test: winning Lebanese people's confidence in the state and constitutional institutions but assured that the test will be passed with competency.

Premier Hariri stressed that ministerial statement parliamentary discussion sessions embrace objectivity and democratic life, he said Tuesday in the first parliamentary session addressing and voting on granting the government confidence.

He indicated that 'parliamentarians are before a difficult test: winning Lebanese people's confidence in the state and constitutional institutions. But I am sure Mr. President that we will pass the test with competency if we follow democratic terms and apply constitutional instructions to segregate authorities.”

Hariri asserted that the cabinet is expected to gain almost 99% of parliamentary forces' vote of confidence, 'but this does not mean that its ministerial statement must not be objectively discussed given Lebanon's democratic political life.”

Hariri indicated that 'both executive and legislative authorities are under the Lebanese public opinion's daily scrutiny which will determine the cabinet and parliament's performance and the extent of confidence the political system will grant.”

'This cabinet has one choice: success,” he added at the parliament's opening statement, pointing that 'the vote of confidence affirms the concept of national coalition and reiterates citizens' trust in the state and success in compensating their ill-achieved rights of social, economic and security stability.”

Hariri continued 'success cannot be fulfilled unless through a coalition cabinet that works for Lebanon's establishment as a state. This is the development and modernization cabinet and this is its ministerial statement.”

14march.org

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Sfeir Rejects 'Resistance Army'

Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir said Tuesday that he rejects a "resistance army that would one day use its weapons against the enemy and another day domestically."

Sfeir made his remark before heading to Baabda Palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman.

"The regular army should alone defend the country and the resistance,along with its arms, should join the Lebanese army when everyone resists the enemy," Sfeir said.

Sfeir and Suleiman discussed the issue of Hizbullah arms, national dialogue, the abolishing of political sectarianism and Palestinian right of return.

Beirut, 08 Dec 09, 12:03

http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&820C134FA1F7C024C225768600377BFF



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 December 2009 )
 
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