French- Lebanese security pact: Definition of terrorism is not the issue says Fatfat


March 14 MP Ahmad Fatfat told the Voice of Lebanon (VOL) on Friday that some parties’ objections over the Lebanese-French security pact were not over the definition of terrorism as they claim, but rather they were due to “much more important reasons.”

The draft deal addresses bilateral cooperation on all security levels, including fighting terrorism.

“Dangerous accusations have been made against the cabinet, since they considered the deal to jeopardize Lebanon’s sovereignty,” Fatfat said. However, he did not elaborate further.

On Tuesday, MPs from Hezbollah and the Amal Movement left the joint parliamentary commissions session, making it impossible to vote on the agreement as quorum was not reached.

Speaker Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that the security agreement with France will not pass in the parliament unless Lebanon’s definition of terrorism is added to the draft bill.

France , like the US considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

France defends Security pact

France on Thursday defended the controversial security accord with Lebanon .

“This is a classic agreement like those France’s interior minister has already signed with our foreign partners,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.

“The text includes technical terms, for example, for the fight against organized crime as well as cooperation in … homeland security, crisis management … and decentralized administration,” Valero said in a statement distributed by the French embassy.

The pact stipulates the two countries should “boost cooperation” in fighting terrorism, money laundering and drugs.

Valero’s statement made no mention of the word “terrorism.”

Lebanon and France signed the agreement in Paris on January 21. The accord must be ratified by Lebanese parliament and the French senate to take effect.

“France’s definition of terrorism includes Palestinian resistance movements, and that clashes with Lebanese law, which is in line with the Arab League’s definition,” he added.

“Without resolving this matter, the accord will not be passed in parliament.”

The 22-member Arab League does not regard “armed struggle against foreign occupation,” such as the Palestinian Hamas or Lebanese Hezbollah, as terrorist movements.

Hezbollah’s pro-Western political rivals were outraged at the Shiite party’s demand, slamming the group as “isolationist.”