Aoun Says Christian Areas Would Be Spared Civil Strife if Geagea Avoided Resorting to Arms

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun on Tuesday noted that "Christian areas would be spared" the violence of a potential civil strife in the country if Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea avoided resorting to weapons.

After the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, Aoun said that Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, former head of General Security Department, filed his lawsuit with the Syrian judiciary "as a result of the judicial vacuum in Lebanon."

"If Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar had submitted his report on the false witnesses issue to the cabinet and declared that the Lebanese judiciary has exclusive jurisdiction to tackle the case, the Syrian judiciary would have taken no action," Aoun added.

"With which court should Sayyed and his companions file a complaint if the Lebanese and the international judiciaries have washed their hands of the complaints over the investigation?" Aoun wondered.

On the other hand, the FPM leader noted that "the bloc's ministers didn't receive Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar's report on the false witnesses issue during yesterday's (Monday's) cabinet session."

"There are criminals in power, and the blame falls on the silent majority that is encouraging crime, as well as on the civil society and the media," Aoun decried.

Asked about the uproar about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's upcoming visit to Lebanon, Aoun said: "Insolence itself is when domestic objections are voiced over Ahmadinejad's visit, while the foreign objections are not surprising."

Aoun rejected the accusations that the opposition was perpetrating a "coup", noting that "the State has been turned upside down since 2005, and the opposition is now seeking to rebuild it according to laws and regulations."

"Their State has been acting contrary to the norms since a while: it doesn't respect the other (opinion); it is ridiculing our security and even working to incite civil strife through its apparatuses," Aoun added.

On a separate note, the FPM leader revealed that he was preparing lawsuits against MP Elie Marouni over remarks that FPM members have been stockpiling weapons, as well as against ex-MP Antoine Andraous "who talked about Iranian weapons in the possession of a number of FPM partisans" in the Mount Lebanon town of al-Kahaleh.