Gemayel urges Hezbollah's cooperation to 'save Lebanon'


gemayel amin defFormer Lebanese president and current Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel urged Hezbollah to join efforts and abide by the Baabda declaration to save Lebanon, following a meeting he held with outgoing PM Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail.

Urging Hezbollah to abide by the Baabda declaration, Gemayel said: “We are all in the same boat. We have to overcome selfishness. I hope that Hezbollah abides by the Baabda declaration and cooperate to save Lebanon,” he said.

Gemayel voiced fears of the “difficult circumstances facing the country”, adding:” Most of the state institutions are obstructed and we hope to offer solutions for that.”

Gemayel expressed his readiness to exert all efforts needed to help line-up a new cabinet

“We are ready to offer sacrifices and to exert all efforts needed to help form a cabinet that meets the ambitions of all the Lebanese and the approval of all parties,” Gemayel said

The “Baabda Declaration,” is an agreement that was reached between the rival March 8 and March 14 leaders in 2012. It calls for “keeping Lebanon away from the policy of regional and international conflicts and sparing it the negative repercussions of regional tensions and crises.”

Hezbollah’s active military support for the Syrian regime is seen by observers as a contradiction to the Baabda Declaration and violates Lebanon’s disassociation policy and risks Lebanon’s stability.

Hundreds of Hezbollah fighters have reportedly been killed during the past few month while fighting alongside the forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al Assad.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said that the army-people-resistance formula can no longer be used for the new cabinet’s policy statement due to Hezbollah’s involvement in the war in Syria, al-Liwaa newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Baabda declaration is the only viable policy statement according to Suleiman.

Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) leader MP Walid Jumblatt also urged Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to withdraw from Syria, “because the countdown for the Syrian regime’s fall has begun.”

In was described as a dramatic reversal of his previous position in support of a national-unity cabinet, Jumblatt said that he does not oppose the formation of a neutral cabinet that does not include any of the major political parties.

PM-designate Tammam Salam has been trying to form a cabinet based on giving an equal share to the opposing political blocks – March 14 , March 8 and the centrists, but the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance is insisting on having a bigger share in the cabinet to allow it to veto its decisions . Salam has been opposed to give any party a veto power ( usually referred to as a blocking third ) . He has recently been floating the idea of forming a neutral cabinet of technocrats, but Hezbollah has been opposed to this idea too and this is why Lebanon is still without a government and Najib Miqati is still acting as the caretaker Prime Minister.

Jumblatt new position could help Salam secure the required parliament votes for a neutral cabinet.