During an interview with al Jazeera following his meeting with Suleiman Jumblatt said he shares Hezbollah’s concerns over STL.
President Michel Suleiman met on Thursday with Democratic Gathering leader MP Walid Jumblat as part of consultations with heads of parliamentary blocs in an effort to calm the situation in Lebanon following the speech last Friday of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in which he called the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) an” Israeli project” that aims at targeting the party and inciting sectarian strife in Lebanon.
Suleiman is urging the officials to adopt calm political rhetoric to keep stability during the tourism season.
Jumblatt told Al Jazeera that the reports published by a high-ranking Hezbollah official expressing fear from Sunni fundamentalism in case Hezbollah was accused of assassinating former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are correct.
Jumblatt said Nasrallah is concerned with the leaks which revealed that Hezbollah might be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) .
Jumblatt said : “I have told Nasrallah that I share his views and fears ”
Jumblatt added: ” The best gift we can present Israel is voluntarily falling in the trap of continuing the public disputes. Some figures are heedlessly setting people against each other.”
Jumblatt praised the Suleiman’s effort in calming the situation:
“The president’s role is excellent and he believes in tackling issues in a calm method, away from the media,” he said
Jumblatt criticized Lebanese Forces’ leader Samir Geagea:
“Geagea is one of the figures who has made irresponsible statements and issuing them simultaneously with those of the Israeli chief of staff. This is strange because internal strife is the U.S. and Israel’s ideal instrument to destroy Lebanon”, he said.
A report in the As Safir newspaper on Tuesday revealed that the STL will be issuing at least two rounds of the indictments starting from next September and around the end of this year. In the first round prosecutor Daniel Bellemare will reportedly indict three to five members of Hezbollah and in the second round about 20 with various ranks including some key officials.
According to As Safir , Bellemare said that the Lebanese military leaders told him in an informal way that the Lebanese army will not arrest any members of Hezbollah party if indicted by the court.
A report in the German Der Spiegel magazine dated May 2009 revealed a link between Hezbollah and the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri, father of the current prime minister.
Jumblatt admitted he was behind the cabinet decisions on May 5, 2008 :
“I was the one who pushed Cabinet to take the two infamous decisions on May 5, 2008. The letter from the Defense Minister to Shoucair that was leaked to the media led me to the decision. I was pushed to take it and I fell in the trap “, he said.
Following the decision by the cabinet, Hezbollah on May 7, 2008 occupied the western part of Beirut and tried but failed to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt Lebanon. Unconfirmed reports revealed that Hezbollah lost more fighters in the 2008 uprising than in the 2006 war with Israel. Over 1200 Lebanese were killed in the 2006 war but mostly civilians
In response to a question about his political U-turn, Jumblatt said:
“Everyone should forget the issue of changing views, and I have returned to my base of Arabism. Unlike many others, I have admitted to my mistakes.”
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