Jumblat Urges Talks on Dissociation Policy and Not on Hizbullah Arms
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat noted Monday that talks over Hizbullah's arms would be “futile” during this period, calling instead for consultations over the implementation of Lebanon's so-called dissociation policy.
“It would be better and wiser that we don't call for consultations over the issue of arms, seeing as a debate over arms would take us back to the previous dialogues that were held in 2006 under the sponsorship of Speaker Nabih Berri and later under the sponsorship of president Michel Suleiman, and this would be a futile move,” said Jumblat after talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.
“Let us discuss the dissociation policy and how to implement it,” Jumblat added.
He also stressed the need to address the economy, saying it needs major solutions.
Aoun kicked off Monday morning a series of bilateral consultations in Baabda with the country's political parties, a few days after Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced that he was suspending his resignation pending negotiations over the dissociation policy.
“The consultations will tackle the security situation, the dissociation policy, ties with Arab states, the Taef Accord and the government's situation, and President Aoun will request clear answers on this issues. This also includes the stance on the Israeli threats, including the defense strategy,” Baabda sources told LBCI television.
Hariri had announced Saturday that “there is seriousness in the ongoing contacts and dialogues” and that the other parties seem to be inclined to accept his proposals.
The premier has called for dissociating Lebanon from the regional conflicts through ending Hizbullah’s involvement in them.
Hariri had caused widespread perplexity on November 4 when he resigned during a TV broadcast from Saudi Arabia, citing assassination threats and blasting the policies of Iran and Hizbullah in Lebanon and the region.
After a puzzling mini-odyssey that took him to France, Egypt and Cyprus, Hariri arrived back in Lebanon on Tuesday and then announced that he was putting his decision to quit on hold ahead of negotiations.
Many questions remain unanswered following the unprecedented scenario that saw Lebanon's prime minister resign in a foreign country suspected of keeping him under house arrest and return only after the apparent intervention of France.
But while Hariri and his backers seemed on a collision course with Hizbullah only a few days ago, an apparent behind-the-scenes deal now appears to be restoring the status quo.