Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group slammed on Friday reports linking President Michel Suleiman’s speech to the rockets that landed near the Baabda presidential palace east of the capital in Beirut.
Suleiman, who has been calling for dialogue to discuss Lebanon’s defense strategy , based on the Baabda declaration criticized Hezbollah’s role in defending the Syrian regime.
“It has become urgent to study a defense strategy especially that the resistance’s arms have gone beyond Lebanon’s borders”. Hezbollah is usually referred to as the resistance.
“The army’s mission would be impossible if a party or more from Lebanese people get involved in wars outside Lebanon ”, Suleiman stressed in another reference to the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who have been fighting alongside the forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar against the rebels seeking to end his family’s four-decade rule.
“The goals behind the crime that targeted military sites and the surroundings of the presidential palace in Baabda are known,” Hezbollah said in a released statement.
“Terrorists are still aiming at harming the military institution on the Army Day, which is a national holiday that unites all the Lebanese people. We strongly condemn this crime.”
Hezbollah criticized the local and Arab media reports that “rushed” after the rocket attack to focus on Suleiman’s Thursday speech regarding the resistance’s weaponry and its role.
“Linking the president’s statement to the attack is a despicable and blatant attempt.”
The party continued: “We were surprised by attempts to start feuds between the Lebanese people, through weakening their institutions, their forces, their unity and their consensus over main national issues.”
“Running after violence and crimes as means to face the opposing political opinion in the country is an unsuccessful strategy that exposes incapability and political failure.”
The party stressed on its continuous support for the military institution and its solidarity with its forces “under all conditions.”
“We call for a solidarity campaign with this institution to preserve the country and its people, and to avoid conspiracies targeting Lebanon,” Hezbollah’s statement added.
Hezbollah MP Kamel al-Rifai commented on the speech of Lebanon president Michel Suleiman during the ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the Army Day , by saying: “We were surprised by the president’s speech which appears to have been influenced by the European Union decision to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”
He told al Jamhouriah newspaper in remarks published on saturday : “We have a lot of reservations about his speech in which he appears to have retreated from his previous position of supporting the resistance. We were hoping he will salute the resistance for its victory against Israel during the month of August.”
He was referring to the July/ August 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The Lebanese infrastructure was devastated during the war, but Hezbollah nevertheless declared the outcome ” a divine victory.”
Rifai pointed out that the president’s speech could delay the dialogue talks that he called for and denied that Hezbollah is behind the obstacles facing the formation of the Lebanese cabinet .
The European Union decided on July 22 to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing as a terror group.