Lebanon News

Geagea: We must unite to defeat ISIS

File - LF leader Samir Geagea speaks during an interview on MTV, Monday, June 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub, HO)

BEIRUT: The cancer that ISIS is can still be halted, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Saturday, but only if the world resolves to work together to stop it.

'ISIS is a cancerous tumor that surfaced at first in parts of Iraq and Syria and it's still contained to a certain point and this can be removed only if we join our efforts via an international Arab alliance,' Geagea said during a ceremony to commemorate the LF martyrs.

'If they're trying to intimidate us then do not fear them. ... Those who faced major challenges and the likes of ISIS throughout history should not fear those today,' he said

'We are the sons of the historical Lebanese resistance.'

Geagea also spoke about the presidential election, indirectly criticizing his rival MP Michel Aoun for eyeing the presidency at the expense of the country.

'It is a political crime to cut off the head of the republic in order to occupy that position,' Geagea said

'It is unacceptable to take the country hostage in exchange for the presidency as a ransom.'

He said the only reason Aoun sought to amend the Constitution was 'because he failed to reach the presidency.'

Aoun has proposed that the Constitution be amended so that the people could directly elect the president instead of Parliament.

'Talk of amending the Constitution to bring a strong president is a useless argument because the current mechanism of voting has brought in strong presidents since independence,' the LF leader said.

He also rejected calls for Christians and other Lebanese to arm themselves to confront terrorism, saying such means only force the collapse of the state.

'While we reject all kinds of self-defense, some try to promote for political purpose under the guise of fighting terrorism,' he said

'Christians only carried arms during the Civil War when the state completely collapsed.'

He said the state and its security institutions were still intact and capable of defending its citizens

'Calls for people to carry arms only aim to serve a blow to the state and its institutions, which they have began to do by maintaining a paralysis in the presidency and disrupting Parliament's work.'

 

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