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Hezbollah’s Sheikh Naim Qassem said on Saturday that his party is ready to engage in dialogue to draft a national defense strategy, but ruled out any discussions over Hezbollah’s arms.

“We are ready to discuss a national defense strategy… but not to talk about the arms of the Resistance that is an honor for everyone,” a statement issued by Hezbollah quoted him as saying.

Qassem also said that his party does not make the decision on “war and peace,” adding that “Israel is the one always readying for war.”

“There will be no [near] Israeli war [against Lebanon] because the enemy fears Hezbollah’s deterrence [capacities].”

Qassem also reiterated that the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is probing former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination, is “politicized from head to toe.”

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