BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hezbollah says premature to talk about national defense strategy

Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad. (Archive Photo/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah said Monday it was premature for political parties to discuss a national defense strategy, saying the country had yet to liberate itself from Israeli occupation.

“We don’t want a national defense strategy at the present time,” Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad said during a funeral procession in south Lebanon, the National News Agency reported.

“We are still in the liberation stage and we have ample time to talk about a defense strategy after liberation,” he added.

“The resistance is a human cause,” said Raad, who heads Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc.

Raad’s comments come just days before the resumption of a new round of National Dialogue talks headed by President Michel Sleiman.

Rival political leaders agreed on June 11 during their first National Dialogue session in over 18 months to commit themselves to dialogue and political, security and media pacification as well as avoid speeches that fuel sectarian incitement.

In their second meeting on June 25, political leaders called on the government to set up a mechanism for disarming Palestinian groups outside refugee camps and agreed to discuss a platform for a national defense strategy to be presented by President Michel Sleiman in July.

Addressing those who opposed the resistance, Raad said: “Let them guide us to the method they are going to adopt to liberate the remaining land."

Raad, speaking at a separate function in south Lebanon, also reasserted that Hezbollah is more ready than ever to confront Israel should it attack Lebanon.

“The resistance today is stronger ... and is more immune and ready at the security, military, political and popular levels to prevent the enemy from committing any folly against Lebanon or against the resistance," he said.

"The enemies of the resistance know this fact and they are making every effort to exhaust the resistance so it can overlook its goals in order [for Israel] to penetrate through week gaps,” he said.

“That's what they are working at all the time,” he added.

The opposition March 14 coalition has said that unless the issue of Hezbollah’s arms is discussed, National Dialogue will be futile.

The next round of National Dialogue will be held on July 25.

 

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