BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Jumblatt hits back at Nasrallah over arms and Iran’s role

Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblatt. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt reiterated Monday his party’s position on the need for a mechanism to integrate Hezbollah’s arms into the Army’s, and to keep decisions of war and peace in the hands of the state.

“There is no doubt that the resistance’s rockets can force the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Israelis – but the Lebanese have the right to question their fate and future in any future war,” the PSP leader said in remarks likely aimed at Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

Nasrallah is reported to have pledged to keep the Lebanese Islamic resistance movement strong and to obstruct U.S. and Zionist designs in the region during a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian over the weekend.

The Fars News Agency says Nasrallah also stressed that Iran plays an indispensable role in the region.

“Foreign plots against Syria have reached a stalemate and the Islamic Republic of Iran is supporting the righteous demands of the Syrian people, emphasizing political solutions to the crisis in accordance with its stable stances in defending and supporting the rights of the regional nations,” Nasrallah said, according to the FNA.

In his weekly statement published by Al-Anbaa newspaper Tuesday, Jumblatt also slammed the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit in Iran for its support of the Syrian government’s “tyranny” against its people.

“It is ironic for the Non-Aligned Movement which started in Bandung in 1955 with senior figures such as Jamal Abdel-Nasser to turn into ... a movement aligning with regimes that practice tyranny against their people and support with all its might other regimes who practice unprecedented killing and oppression,” Jumblatt said.

He said the proof of this lies in the protection offered by some countries to the Syrian regime, against the people’s aspirations. The PSP leader criticized newly elected Arab leaders for attending the meeting, indirectly referencing Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi.

He voiced similar disapproval of Palestinian leaders’ participation in the summit, saying they should have more sympathy for Syrians given that the regime’s practices are on par with what Israel has done to the Palestinians – from the destruction of their cities to leaving people homeless.

“It is ironic that some Arab leaders who were recently elected following revolutions that toppled tyranny are participating in the meeting,” Jumblatt said. “Instead of aligning with their people and their interests, you see them sitting alongside those who represent a bulwark against the rights of the Syrian people and their epic struggle.”

Jumblatt saluted the Army for restoring order to Tripoli, north Lebanon, following weeklong clashes that killed at least 17 people and left more than 120 wounded. He said the Army proved that it “has the ability to carry out its duties particularly when it has the political will.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 28, 2012, on page 3.

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