Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has reportedly expressed to Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh his “disgust” with the situation in Lebanon, according to the As Safir report published on Saturday .
As Safir also reported that Sfeir told Franjieh: “You are more honest than the others … at least you are a man of principle and you don’t lie like others.”
This was a possible reference to March 8 Christian leader Free patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun who switched allegiance following his return from exile in Paris. Aoun who was dead against Syria and Hezbollah while he was in exile became Hezbollah’s staunchest ally ever since he returned to Lebanon. He has also become a leading defender of Hezbollah backers ; Iran and Syria.
Sfeir’s comment comes after The Lebanese Forces (LF) and the Free Patriotic Movement engaged in a battle of words after the FPM leader said last Tuesday that LF leader Samir Geagea should not take to the streets and use arms. Geagea responded to Aoun last Wednesday, saying “I did not expect you to reach such a low level and for you to call on your allies to militarily attack your Christian opponents.”
Sfeir had reportedly repeatedly told his visitors that Hezbollah is a part of Lebanese society like all political parties, the only difference is that it possess weapons.
He stressed that he stands at an equal distance from all sides.
As Safir , a leading Lebanese pro-Syrian newspaper also reported that Sfeir’s clearest message before his quest was that Bkirki’s doors are always open to Hezbollah.
Sfeir has been one of the leading critics of Hezbollah accusing the organization of allegiance to regional powers, such as Iran and Syria against the interests of Lebanon
Tension escalated in Lebanon after reports said that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will soon issue its indictment into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Last July, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the tribunal is “an Israeli project” that will indict Hezbollah members. Nasrallah accused Israel of being behind Hariri’s assassination but refused to provide the evidence to STL to support his claim.
There are fears that, should the court indict Hezbollah members, it could lead to clashes similar to those of the 2008 May Events.