Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri held a phone conversation with Speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday, to discuss the latest verbal clash with Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Voice of Lebanon (VOL) reported.
Berri is seeking to bring the views of Hariri and Nasrallah closer and the limit tension between the two leaders, VOL added.
Tension between between the two leaders started by Nasrallah . In his speech last Friday on the occasion of Jerusalem day Nasrallah attacked what he said was political exploitation of the August 24 clashes in Beirut between supporters of Hezbollah and Al-Ahbash, saying that “a knife was put in Hezbollah’s wound and twisted.”
In his Friday Iftar speech, Hariri responded to Nasrallah’s remarks by saying, “I am not the one who is carrying the knife because I don’t know how to carry one. I only know how to carry a pen. I am the son of [former Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri and I will remain modest”
During an Iftar dinner in Qoreitem on Saturday, Hariri called for calm and dialogue , saying that “that political and media rhetoric following his remarks on Friday evening reached a level he had hoped would be avoided”
“We said what we said last night, period. What was said afterward clearly shows the effect of political rhetoric on public opinion. A single word can elevate the pressure in the country or limit it,” Hariri said.
Hariri said he does not want political discourse to regress to the lowest level, but rather rise “to a level that benefits democratic life.”
There are more important issues demanding attention than this “daily quarrel over matters that should be [the subject of] security and judicial expertise” and are being dealt with in the cabinet and the Higher Defense Council, he added.
The cabinet has formed a commission to address weapons proliferation following the fighting in Beirut, which has also been brought up with the Higher Defense Council.
Weapons -free Beirut
March 14 leaders including Hariri called for a weapons-free Beirut following the bloody street battle that shook the Borj Abi Haidar neighborhood in the Lebanese capital on August 24, pitting supporters of the Iranian backed Hezbollah against the pro-Syrian Al-Ahbash militants —also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects. 3 people were killed in the clash including a Hezbollah senior official.
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said that last week’s Borj Abi Haidar clashes harmed Hezbollah’s image, adding that the violence revealed that the party has a military presence in the capital that cannot be justified or accepted, according to a statement issued last Wednesday by Geagea’s office.
“ Hezbollah should intervene domestically through politics and not through military force ,” Geagea said, reiterating his call to make Beirut an arms-free city.
“Hezbollah cannot confiscate the decision of defending Lebanon at a time when the party is not a legitimate authority and when there is no unanimous agreement between the Lebanese on granting such tasks to Hezbollah ,” the LF leader said
Also Geagea said last Friday that Hezbollah’s arms in their current location and form no longer serve Lebanon’s interest.
The weapons “serve other interests. ” Geagea told a delegation from Jbeil.
“As far as we know the resistance should be in occupied territories. Is Beirut occupied?” Geagea asked.