Berri: Abandoning the resistance is out of the question


berri slams charbelLebanon Speaker Nabih Berri, a close ally of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group reiterated his determination to mention the resistance formula in the ministerial statement.

“Abandoning the resistance is out of the question. Had this happened before, South Lebanon and Lebanon would not have endured,” Berri was quoted as telling his visitors, in remarks published Monday by An-Nahar newspaper.

“There is no need to try to remove the word ‘resistance’ from the ministerial statement, because its letters and meanings as well as the sacrifices of [its] martyrs are more precious than all the gold of the world. It represents the basis of this country,” he added.

According to analysts the problem for the Lebanese is not the word resistance …the problem for the lebanese is the fact that the word means Hezbollah and they are tired of seeing Hezbollah monopolize and abuse the word as if the Lebanese people had no role in the resistance against the Israeli occupation and the liberation of south Lebanon.

March 14 alliance is suggesting to use the phrase “Lebanon’s right to defend itself ” in the ministerial policy statement while the Hezbollah led March 8 parties are insisting on using the formula ” people + army + resistance ” and the word resistance here means Hezbollah as if Hezbollah is the only entity in Lebanon allowed to resist .

The speaker also said he was pessimistic over the upcoming meeting of the committee charged with drafting the ministerial statement “amid the gloomy atmosphere” that followed the war of words between Hezbollah and President Michel Suleiman, who implicitly called on Hezbollah not to cling to the inflexible and wooden resistance formula .

“We have many suggestions, but we can only present them if the atmosphere is convenient and if parties are willing to reach an exit from this [deadlock],” Berri was quoted as saying.

“The same way an agreement over the Baabda Agreement was reached, [another] agreement over the resistance can be reached too,” he added.

According to political analyst Ali Hussein, “Berri has become a one man party leader since Hezbollah has also monopolized the Shiite community . Without Hezbollah’s backing Berri is politically dead and for this reason his only option is to defend it”

Berri’s comments come after Hezbollah on Saturday slammed President Michel Suleiman over his recent comments during a speech at the University of Kaslik in which he insisted on making the Baabda Declaration the basis of the new cabinet’s policy statement and equated the (Baabda) Declaration to the National Pact.

Suleiman said at the conference titled My Land: A Promising Future , that Lebanon’s land, people, and common values constitute the country’s “permanent equation.”

This was understood to be a response to Hezbollah’s demand that the so called resistance formula should be the basis for the new government policy statement ( people + army + resistance )

“With all our due respect to the presidency and what it represents, the latest speech delivered Friday makes us believe that the Baabda Palace has recently been in need of special care, since its occupier cannot differentiate anymore between gold and wood,” the Hezbollah statement said.

This was in direct response to Suleiman’s advise against” clinging to inflexible and outdated wooden formulas that hinder the drafting of the ministerial statement.”

In a quick reaction via Twitter to Hezbollah’s attack, President Suleiman stated on Saturday that what Baabda Palace needs is acknowledging the unanimous consensus over the Baabda Declaration that was reached inside its premises.

The new 24-minister cabinet, formed after 10 months of political bickering, has been working on its policy statement to present to the parliament for a vote of confidence.