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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Jul 06th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Hariri, Jumblatt say their alliance remains strong
Hariri, Jumblatt say their alliance remains strong PDF Print E-mail
Written by 14march.org   
Sunday, 06 December 2009


Hariri to visit Syria despite political disagreement

Prime Minister Saad Hariri stressed his alliance with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt after a visit to the latter's house in Mukhtara on Sunday. Hariri paid tribute to Jumblatt's father slain politician Kamal Jumblatt, marking his birthday on December 6, 1917. He was assassinated in 1977.

Hariri headed to Mukhtara after having taken part in the annual Beirut Marathon.

In a chat with reporters following the meeting, Hariri said the Lebanese ought to follow on the path of his father, assassinated former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, as well as the path of Kamal Jumblatt, who 'both worked to serve Lebanon's interests.”

Saad Hariri and Walid Jumblatt's talks also centered on the issue of Hizbullah's arsenal, which will be discussed during National Dialogue sessions, Hariri told reporters.

Last week, Lebanon's Cabinet adopted a policy statement granting Hizbullah the right to use its arms against Israel, despite the reservations of Christian ministers of the parliamentary majority.

Jumblatt stressed on Sunday that the PSP has adopted a 'center position.” He urged supporters not to become 'followers.”

'We shall not become followers to any movement or party,” he said, while stressing his 'high respect” for the alliances and principles 'we have fought hard to uphold at Martyrs Square.”

The PSP leader was referring to the series of demonstrations held in Beirut's Martyrs Square in the aftermath of the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005 to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Meanwhile, parliamentary blocs mulled over the weekend the possibility of granting Hariri's Cabinet a vote of confidence during deliberations in Parliament that are expected to kick off on Tuesday.

According to the Parliament's Secretary General Adnan Daher, 60 MPs have booked a slot to address Parliament.

Speaker Nabih Berri, however, was not surprised by the number saying it was 'only normal.”

Berri set Tuesday as the date for the start of a three-day process on a vote of confidence for Hariri's 30-member Cabinet.

Jumblatt told Future News television on Sunday that he will not speak during Tuesday's parliament session, adding that giving MPs the floor to speak during the session 'will be nothing but a waste of time.”

Jumblatt said the Cabinet's policy statement was in line with national consensus and has wide public support.

The issue of Hizbullah's arsenal is expected to draw the most debate during the parliamentary deliberations.



Hariri to visit Syria despite political disagreement

Prime Minister Saad Hariri asked ministers who expressed reservations over the Ministerial Statement to defend it and the cabinet at every stake, asserting that it is the basis of state respect and integrity.

Premier Hariri stressed that reservations can be made during cabinet sessions but explained that every minister must defend the government outside these sessions.

Premier Hariri revealed that after the cabinet gains the vote of confidence he will visit a number of Arab and western states, including Syria which we seek to hold brotherly ties with despite our political disagreement.

He pointed that 'we look with optimism at the issue of establishing embassies and we have to change things positively, especially since we tried negative ways and did not reach a result.”

Lebanon and Syria exchanged diplomatic relations for the first time ever since their independence and the Syrian government appointed Mr. Ali Abdel Karim Ali as its ambassador to Beirut, while Lebanon appointed Mr. Michel Khoury as ambassador to Damascus.

Hariri told reporters while leaving the Grand Serail Friday: 'I am an honest person. Personally, if I wanted to express reservations towards article 6 of the statement, I would have done so”.

He continued, 'But the truth is all ministers who expressed reservations will have to defend the statement and the cabinet at each stake because it was approved by consensus at the ministerial committee tasked with drafting it, then in the cabinet”.

He affirmed that 'this is the basis of the state's respect and integrity,” noting that 'reservations can be made at the council of ministers meetings but outside these sessions, every minister has to defend the government.”

While Labor Minister Boutros Harb objected, Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar, Social Affairs Minister Salim Sayegh, Culture Minister Salim Warde and State Minister for parliamentary affairs Michel Pharaon expressed reservations towards the following policy statement topics: resistance arms, state authority in peace and war decision and Lebanese-Syrian ties.

Premier Hariri added that 'if the cabinet wants to be honest with itself, it has to work to adapt to the requirements of the forthcoming phase: openness to all political forces as there were reconciliations achieved under the patronage of President Michel Sleiman,” assuring that 'all this leads to a consensual atmosphere especially with regard to difficult files and cabinet priorities.”

Responding to a question on his expectations over parliament sessions addressing the Ministerial Statement, Hariri stressed that 'parliamentarians have a right to speak up during sessions, even if it takes us staying up till after midnight.”

He rebutted talks on a near visit to the U.S., explaining that 'the visit is possible but not scheduled yet.”

Hariri stressed that he and the President 'agree on all matters,” and continued 'President Sleiman is the President of all of Lebanon, each of us has specific jurisdictions.”

He cautioned from inciting 'differences between us especially since the President represents us and the Lebanese people at the international community.”

Asked about changing the phrase 'equal ties” to 'brotherly ties” with Syria, Premier Hariri indicated that 'this is the goal we aim to achieve with Syria despite our political disagreement.”

On the other hand, Hariri to Visit Syria after Government Gains Vote of Confidence

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