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Following the weekly meeting of the Change and Reform bloc MP Michel Aoun talked to reporters. Here is a brief outline of his comments :

Dialogue committee:

Aoun expressed his opposition to the presence of an Arab league representative at the talks :” I support everything that reduces the non-Lebanese participation in the national dialogue.” He said

Aoun was responding to March 14 demand for including the Arab League in the dialogue.

He said President Michel Suleiman finalized the list without consulting with March 8. Aoun suggested that Elias Skaff should be in the committee.

Skaff and all his electoral list were defeated in the 2009 elections by the Zahle in our heart electoral list “.

Hezbollah arms:

“We are adamant about the Resistance’s arms, and today’s situation is even more dangerous,” Aoun said, given that “Israeli violations of Lebanese waters and airspace cannot be stopped, and as such, Lebanon has every right to possess arms capable of targeting Israeli territory in its entirety.

“We discussed the arms of the resistance between 2006 and 2009 … The general situations have not changed so that we change our opinion, that’s why we are upholding those arms, more and more, given the dangerous situation,” he added.

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah

Aoun attacked the critics of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over his speech on the occasion of Hezbollah’s “Anniversary of Martyr Leaders.”

“Let those who claim that no one authorized him (Nasrallah) to defend himself ask themselves who authorized them to bear arms in the 1970s for self-defense and for less dangerous motives,” Aoun said.

2010 budget

He commented on the 2010 state budget draft, saying his bloc does not support a VAT increase and will suggest methods to avoid it.

Municipal elections:

Aoun said March 8 is determined to hold them on time. “We support adopting [Interior Minister Ziad Baroud’s] suggested electoral amendments, which should be adopted prior to the elections,” Aoun added.

“We have asked FPMers to submit the names of the women who want to run for municipal election and not to abide by any quota …” Aoun said

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