The Phalange party which is headed by former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel issued a statement on Monday following its weekly meeting stating that Friday’s clashes in Tripoli would not have occurred if Lebanese parties had remained neutral regarding the events in Syria and if Damascus had stopped using Lebanon as a buffer zone.
The party voiced its disappointment that Syria continues to adopt a “negative policy” toward Lebanon instead of focusing on implementing reforms before “it is too late.”
The party commented about the Lebanese who are still in Syrian jails by saying that this issue should be pursued by the Lebanese cabinet with the Syrian authorities as soon as possible , as Gemayel has recommended following the amnesty declaration by president Assad was announced .
Commenting on the cabinet formation, the party reiterated its opposition to the cabinet in its current form and said that the current circumstances call for a cabinet that reflects the Lebanese people’s aspirations and upholds the country’s international commitments.
The party held the cabinet responsible for any confrontation with the international community which may negatively affect Lebanon’s finances and economy.
Armed clashes erupted in Tripoli on Friday following a rally in support of Syrian protesters. The military official of the Hezbollah and Syrian backed Arab Democratic Party, Ali Fares was killed and 6 others including one army soldier and a seven year old child. At least 59 others were reportedly injured and some are in serious condition .
Many analysts questioned why the Alawite party should have a military official .
Jabal Mohsen ( home of the Arab Democratic Party) and Bab al-Tabbaneh areas have been in recent years the scene of intense clashes between Sunni supporters of Lebanon’s former PM Saad Hariri and Alawites who are loyal to the Hezbollah-led coalition backed by Iran and Syria.
March 14 MP Hadi Hobeich said on Monday that weapons backed by Hezbollah were used in the clashes that broke out on Friday in northern Lebanon.
The males only cabinet of 30 ministers was announced last Monday by PM Nagib Mikati