Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt hailed the most recent stance taken by former Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri in which he refused to drag the Sunnis into Hezbollah’s conflict with Al Qaeda .
“Hariri’s stance reflected his rationality, and his sense of national responsibility, especially at this critical time,” Jumblatt wrote in his weekly column in PSP’s Al-Anbaa newspaper Monday.
Jumblatt said: “Hariri has refused to drag the Sunnis into the conflict between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda.”
Hariri’s position “is important and stands in contrast against the sit-ins in front of the Defense Ministry demanding the release of a suspect who is still going through investigations.” He said in reference to the arrest of Sheikh Omar al-Atrash, who is reportedly involved in recent bomb attacks in Lebanon.
A number of Muslim scholars and clerics who hail from the Bekaa staged on Sunday a protest to condemn the arrest.
Atrash was reportedly arrested for being suspected of offering refuge to individuals with alleged links to the Al Qaeda linked groups , Abdullah Azzam Brigades, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, all of which have been linked to bombings in the country.
Jumblatt’s remarks come after Hariri said Saturday that the country’s Sunni Muslims “refuse” to be a part of any conflict between Al-Qaeda and Shiite movement Hezbollah, denouncing sectarian attacks on civilians anywhere in Lebanon.
“The Lebanese, and the Sunnis among them, refuse to be part of any war in Lebanon or the region between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda,” said Hariri, who heads the anti-Syrian Future bloc.
“They also refuse that the civilians in any region of Lebanon become the targets,” he added.
Hariri’s remarks came after A day after Al-Nusra Front declared that all the areas in Lebanon where the Iranian backed Shiite Hezbollah militant group operates are “legitimate targets” it claimed responsibility for the rocket strike on the Beqaa town of Hermel, adding that it would continue to target Hezbollah until their demands are met.
The war in Syria has inflamed sectarian tensions in Lebanon, with Hezbollah backing Assad’s regime despite the Baabda declaration.
The Baabda Declaration is an agreement that was reached between Lebanon’s opposing political leaders in 2012 which calls for distancing Lebanon from regional and international conflicts.
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