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In response to statements that the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons must be discussed in the national dialogue, Culture Minister Gabi Layoun said he rejects attempts to disarm the Shia group.

“[Rival] parties do not want to engage in dialogue to strengthen Lebanon, but are seeking to disarm the Resistance, and this is a matter we reject,” Layoun – a member of March 8’s Free Patriotic Movement – told the Voice of Lebanon (93.3) radio station.

He added that the FPM “has strong faith that Lebanon is strong by having the arms of its Resistance pointed at Israel.”

The Syrian- Iranian-backed Hezbollah group has ruled out its readiness to address the issue of its weapons in the national dialogue, while the western-backed March 14 parties said they will not take part in the dialogue unless the issue is discussed.

Members of the opposition have been calling for the disarmament of the Shia group, which – they said – has used its arms against the people and to exert political pressure.

Now Lebanon

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