Lebanon minister calls for moderation


Following a meeting with Mufti Mohammed Rashid Qabbani , Lebanon Minister of the Displaced Akram Chehayeb , a member of the Democratic Gathering parliamentary group ( which is headed by MP Walid Jumblatt) called for moderation on Thursday citing the behavior of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker Nabih Berri as examples in moderation , National News Agency (NNA) reported.

Chehayeb said that “no party can defeat the other” in Lebanon, a reference to the need for consensus in the country.

Commenting on Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) Chehayeb said that his parliamentary bloc does not support voting on the issue of “false witnesses” in the cabinet in order to spare the country further divisions.

March 8 ministers have been insisting on a cabinet vote over transferring the the issue of so called false witnesses to the judicial council , but March 14 ministers along with the ministers of president Michel Suleiman and Jumblatt’s ministers have opposed the idea.

Tensions in Lebanon have been simmering for months as it has become increasingly apparent the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) is leaning toward charging Hezbollah , the Shiite Muslim group with killing Mr. Hariri on Valentine’s Day 2005.

The massive, 1,000 kilogram, car bomb that killed Mr. Hariri as he traveled along Beirut’s fashionable seaside Corniche, left a crater 10 meters deep, knocked down several buildings and killed 21 other people, in addition to killing the billionaire tycoon who had rebuilt war-shattered Beirut.

Lebanese politicians fear any indictment of Hezbollah members for the killing could lead to a situation where the group might militarily seize large parts of Lebanon, just it they did in May 2008, when it briefly grabbed control of the western part of Beirut and tried, but failed, to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt. Lebanon.

For months now, rumors have hinted UN investigators have uncovered evidence a Hezbollah hit-squad carried out the killing.

Hezbollah’s leaders have denied the charge.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned all Lebanese last November not to assist UN investigators, saying to do so would be tantamount to an attack on his movement.

Nasrallah vowed to “cut off the hand” of anyone who tried to arrest a Hezbollah fighter.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *