Miqati 'Firm on National Constants', Says Hizbullah is Free to Boycott Him
Former Prime Minister Najib Miqati was marveled on Saturday at the verbal campaign launched against a letter sent to the Arab Summit by five Lebanese presidents including himself, but assured that he stands by Hizbullah's fight against Israel saying “it is up to the party” to boycott him.
“When Hizbullah is in a battle with Israel I would blindly jump to its side, but other matters are subject to national constants,” Miqati told al-Akhbar daily on Saturday.
Commenting on reports that Hizbullah has decided to boycott Miqati after signing the so-called five-party letter, he said: “My ties with all Lebanese parties have been nothing but respectful and based on the national constants which I believe in. Anyone wishing otherwise is his own business.”
Miqati denied any plans to tarnish the position of presidency through the letter, he remarked: “How can that be possible when we have already sent a copy to the President, PM (Saad Hariri) and Speaker (Nabih Berri)?”, adding that the campaign only aims to divert the attention from “our national constants.”
The ex-PM revealed saying the idea has first emerged during a lunch banquet at the residence of former President Michel Suleiman, pointing out it is not the first for a certain Lebanese side to send out a letter to the Arab summit or international forums.
“I will allow no one to question my patriotism. I will be in the forefront every time the situation requires rescue in the country,” said Miqati.
He refused accusations of planning to boost his popularity in the northern city of Tripoli in light of looming parliamentary elections.
The letter was signed by Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman and Amin Gemayel and PMs Tammam Salam, Fouad Saniora and Miqati. It stresses the importance of Lebanon's commitment to U.N. resolutions, especially Resolution 1701, and tackles controversial issues such as Hizbullah's arms, the Baabda Declaration, Lebanon's dissociation policy, the state's authority over its territory and foreign interference in the Syrian crisis.
Several officials have voiced dismay over the letter and accused the former presidents and premiers of bypassing the country's president and premier.