Aoun has become Hezbollah’s mouthpiece? NLB


“Has Aoun become Hezbollah’s spokesperson who defends the party domestically and internationally? And for what cause?” The National Bloc, which is headed by Carlos Eddé issued a statement on Thursday asking if Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun has become Hezbollah’s mouthpiece.

“Will the next step [of the March 8 coalition] be to depose President Michel Suleiman and fulfill Aoun’s wishes by making him president?” The statement added

The National Bloc said that the March 8 ministers’ Wednesday resignation “leads to the unknown,” adding that their actions “will have only negative repercussions on the citizens and the economy.”

“Hezbollah and March 8 want the other party to submit to their will.” The statement added.

Lebanon’s president asked Saad al-Hariri to stay on as caretaker prime minister on Thursday after Hezbollah ministers and their allies resigned in a dispute over an investigation into the killing of Hariri’s father. A statement issued by President Michel Suleiman called on the government to “continue in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed”.

Former Lebanese premier and current Future Movement parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Siniora, told Al Arabiya TV on Wednesday evening : Based on all available data there is no substitute for Saad Hariri to head the new government.

Lebanon’s government is dissolved when more than one third of its 30 cabinet members resign, and on Wednesday all 10 ministers belonging to the Iranian backed Hezbollah-led opposition announced their resignations. Hours later, they were joined by an eleventh minister representing Lebanese president Michel Suleiman, forcing the collapse of PM Saad Hariri’s government.

Saudi and Syrian officials have reportedly been working on a compromise that would resolve tensions in Lebanon over the imminent Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment . Reports say that the STL may soon indict Hezbollah members in its investigation of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri, father of Saad the current prime minister.

PM Hariri said during an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper that was published on Friday that the Saudi-Syrian (S-S) agreement on reducing tension in Lebanon had been finalized a long time ago, even before King Abdullah , traveled to New York for the treatment but blamed Hezbollah and its March 8 allies for not living up to their end of the deal.

Hariri also said : “ I will not implement any commitment I made before the other party ( read Hezbollah) implements what it said it would commit to and added ‘anything else is an attempt to sabotage the Saudi-Syrian efforts.”

” This is the major base of the Syrian-Saudi efforts”. Hariri stressed.

Hariri said he decided to break his months-long silence to defend the Saudi-Syrian process against a campaign aimed at distorting it. “I have kept silent for months. Now, I have broken silence just because I am responsible and concerned with protecting this process in the interest of the country and its stability.”

Hariri did not reveal the details of the Saudi-Syrian deal, but his political adviser, Mohammad Shatah, said during an interview on Friday that the Saudi-Syrian deal is aimed at achieving stability in Lebanon, by taking specific steps to reduce political tension, such as restoring contacts between Lebanese factions, ensuring that state institutions return to serving the public and following up on the issue of Lebanese-Syrian ties.

Hezbollah asked MP Michel Aoun to announce on Tuesday the failure of the Saudi-Syrian and to blame March 14 alliance for the failure.

Lebanese opposition ministers announce their ministerial resignation during a news conference in Rabieh, near Beirut, January 12, 2011. Lebanese minister Adnan Sayyed Hussein (not in picture) resigned on Wednesday, the state news agency said, bringing to 11 the number of ministerial resignations and effectively collapsing the government of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. (From L to R) Minister of Sport and Youth Ali Abdullah, Minister of State for Administrative Development Mohammad Fneish, Minister of Industry Apraham Dedeyan, Minister of Agriculture Hussein Haj Hassan, Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil, Minister of Health Mohammad Khalifeh, Minister of Tourism Fadi Abboud, Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahhas, Minister of State Youssef Saade and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali al-Shami.