Arslan: Return of Lebanese-Syrian ties to save Lebanon from the ‘game of nations’


Lebanon’s Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan said Tuesday that the return of Lebanese-Syrian ties to the right track would save Lebanon from the “game of nations.”

During a press conference a day after his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, Arslan said: “Corruption by some Lebanese deeply harmed” Lebanese-Syrian ties. He did not elaborate

He said he discussed with Assad demarcation of the border which according to the Syrian president would start from the north and would go all the way to areas that are still occupied by the Jewish state.

Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, said Monday that Assad and Arslan discussed efforts exerted to consolidate Syrian-Lebanese relations.

Addressing politicians, Arslan said: “It’s time to adopt serous policies” that would put the interest of the people above anything else.

He also criticized all-party talks, saying the national dialogue’s agenda, which is limited to the defense strategy, is not enough. “The limitation of the topic to the resistance arms is an Israeli demand.”

He said the Lebanese Democratic Party has finalized its point of view on the defense strategy and would send it to President Michel Suleiman on Wednesday.

On ties with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, Arslan said: “There is ongoing coordination and everything is going in the right direction.”

Israel occupied Shebaa in 1967 along with the Golan Heights. Syria and Lebanon claim that the area is Lebanese, but the Syrian regime has so far refused to provide the documents that prove Lebanese ownership, despite repeated requests by the UN. Syria also has refused to demarcate the border area around shebaa, claiming that it is not possible to demarcate as along as it is occupied by Israel.

Arslan , a staunch Syrian ally adopted Syria’s position with regards to border demarcation:

“There is no way to discuss demarcation at the Shebaa (farms area) because they are still under Israeli occupation,” the MP told reporters.



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