Amin Gemayel: Broadening Participation Torpedoes Dialogue
Written by Dalia Nehmeh, Naharnet   
Sunday, 21 September 2008


Phalange Party leader and former President Amin Gemayel expressed fear that broadening participation in national talks would "one way or the other lead to torpedoing the dialogue."

"This proposal could lead to torpedoing the dialogue in two directions – if agreement was not reached to expand attendance or in case agreement was reached it would be too wide that we wouldn't be able to understand one another and as a result dialogue channels would collapse," Gemayel said in an interview with Naharnet.

"Whoever proposed this issue, is perfectly aware of the consequences (of his actions) and knows that he could torpedo dialogue altogether," Gemayel said.

He believed that Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's position with regard to this issue is "irrational."

"If Nasrallah feels embarrassed by the limited participation, our embarrassment is bigger, given that March 8 Forces are represented by one maestro and one leader -- Sayyed Hassan … while mosaic and plurality (of views) prevail among March 14 Forces where each leader has his own party, character and history," Gemayel explained.

He believed the Hizbullah-led March 8 coalition had no problem with expanding attendance since it is following a "totalitarian trend under the pretexts of resistance and liberation."

"This is why we don't want to open this door," Gemayel stressed. "I expect in the event that this door was opened that participation could go up to 40 or 50 members."

Beirut, 20 Sep 08, 16:55