Government Adopts Policy Statement Amid Harb's Objection, Reservations of Pharaon, LF, Phalange
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Wednesday, 02 December 2009


The government on Wednesday adopted the ministerial Policy Statement without any amendments amid the objection of Minister Harb and the reservations of Ministers Pharaon, al-Sayegh, Najjar, and Wardeh on the sixth clause which deals with the resistance.

The clause states the right of "Lebanon, its government, its people, its army and its resistance" to liberate all Lebanese territory.

Following the adoption of the statement on Wednesday, a parliamentary vote of confidence session will most probably be held early next week.

After the government's session, Information Minister Tarek Mitri said that President Michel Suleiman started the session by pointing at the positive reflection of the calm atmosphere on the economy and the financial situation.

"President Suleiman spoke of Israel that is still threatening us, and urged to deal with that (Israeli threats) through high national responsibility. He also informed the ministers about the visit he made to Syria which witnessed the discussing of the general situation in the region, developments in Palestine, international relations, the peace process, Lebanon's role in U.N.'s Security Council, and the pursuing of the Lebanese-Syrian joint statement," added Mitri.

Suleiman informed the ministers about his intention to visit the United States accompanied by Foreign and Defense ministers, according to Mitri.

Mitri added that Prime Minister Saad Hariri, on his part, informed the cabinet about his intention to attend the Copenhagen summit that deals with the issues of the climate and global warming.

"Hariri demonstrated briefly the work of the formulation committee, stressing upon the dialogue spirit that dominated its sessions, and urged the ministers not to leak the drafts to the media," added Mitri.

Mitri said that the objection and reservations of some ministers, as expected, do not signal that there is an opposition inside the government.

The record of the session documented the objection of Minister Harb, and the reservations of Ministers Pharaon, Najjar, Wardeh, and al-Sayegh.

Mitri said that those five ministers are keen on ministerial solidarity despite their objection or reservations.

"They have said more than once that their stances of objection or reservation on the sixth article of the statement do not mean that they are an opposition bloc inside the government," added Mitri.

Meanwhile, The March 14 general-secretariat said Wednesday that Hizbullah confined the mission of defending the nation to the Islamic resistance, ignoring the capabilities of the Lebanese.

"Hizbullah's manifesto gave the mission of defending the nation to the Islamic resistance in Lebanon and transformed the state, the army and people into its supporters," said the conferees following their weekly meeting. "This ignores the capabilities of the Lebanese."

Consequently, the document contradicts the Taef accord which gave Lebanon the right to liberate land, the March 14 statement said.

As for the cabinet policy statement, it reflects the settlements that accompanied the formation of the "settlement cabinet," the conferees said.