Miqati Stresses Lebanon Respect for Int'l Law as Suleiman Asks EU to Reconsider Decision on Hizbullah
President Michel Suleiman on Monday hoped the European Union will “reconsider” its decision to blacklist Hizbullah's military wing as caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati stressed Lebanon's respect for international legitimacy.
Suleiman hoped the EU “will reconsider its decision, out of keenness on avoiding hasty decisions and to preserve stability in Lebanon and protect the essential choices that are being discussed by the national dialogue committee, which are mainly about the stipulations of the Baabda Declaration and the president's vision for the national defense strategy.”
The president voiced his remarks during talks in Baabda with EU ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst.
Earlier on Monday, Miqati stressed that Lebanon “is keen to abide by international law,” after the European Union placed Hizbullah's armed wing on its list of “terrorist organizations.”
"We will follow up on the issue through diplomatic channels, while we wish the EU countries had carried out a careful reading of the facts and sought out more information," Miqati said.
"Lebanese society, in all its components, is keen to abide by international law and to maintain excellent relations with EU member states," he added in a statement.
Meanwhile, caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour warned that the EU's decision will have its repercussions on Lebanon, accusing "known local factions of playing a negative role" in this respect.
He told al-Manar television: "We want to know what does the EU want from Lebanon in the future, then, we will have a clear and brave stance."
EU foreign ministers on Monday added Hizbullah's military wing to the union's list of "terrorist organizations."
The decision came after some of EU's 28 foreign ministers overcame reservations in some member states that such a move would further destabilize Lebanon where the group plays a major role.
To do so, ministers agreed that EU political and economic links with Lebanon would be maintained.
They also highlighted the fact that it is the military wing alone that is blacklisted after Hizbullah was blamed for a deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year.
Hizbullah, which is backed by Iran, is Israel's sworn enemy. The group's involvement in fighting in Syria alongside President Bashar Assad's forces has dismayed Western powers which back rebels battling the regime.