During a ceremony at the Mohammed al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut marking the second anniversary of the assassination of former minister Mohamad Shatah , former Lebanese Fouad Siniora stressed Sunday that the March 14 coalition will remain united despite the differences that emerged over MP Suleiman Franjieh’s presidential nomination
The ceremony was attended by Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and other March 14 leaders and officials.
Siniora criticized the lack of progress of the probe into the 2013 assassination of Shatah.
“Is it reasonable that the investigations in the case of Shatah and his comrades have not made any progress although the security agencies have made achievements in the fight against terrorist groups and the Israeli-linked spy cells?”
“Shatah believed in the Lebanon of the state of law and equality and he called for the implementation of the Taef Accord,” said Siniora.
He pointed out that Shatah’s contributions “were effective in all the deliberations that led to the final text of (U.N. Security Council) Resolution 1701 following the 2006 war , the creation of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the issues of the Shebaa Farms and the demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone.”
Siniora pointed out that it has been difficult to fill th e voiced left after Shatah’s assassination.
“The crime of Shatah’s assassination has created a void that we have not been able to fill until the moment,” Siniora noted.
Turning to Hezbollah’s military intervention in neighboring Syria, the former premier said the March 14 forces will never approve of Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflict, warning that the party’s young fighters are entangled in “a cause that is not their cause.”
“Day after day, it is becoming evident that this is not the proper way to confront terrorism or protect Lebanon from it … This is not the right way to preserve the unity of the Lebanese and their civil peace or their relations with their Arab neighbors,” Siniora added.
Addressing he differences among the March 14 forces over the Franjieh nomination , the former PM underlined that “the differences of opinion that occurred or might occur in the March 14 coalition over specific issues cannot affect the core of the cause, which is related to Lebanon’s existence.”
“The March 14 forces were and are still a national necessity today more than ever,” he proclaimed.
Addressing the presidential vacuum issue , Siniora called for the speedy election of a president who would “preserve the Constitution and Lebanon’s independence, unity and territorial integrity.”
Shatah was killed in a bombing in downtown Beirut on December 27, 2013.
Former PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri said following of the bombing that the assassins are the same ones who murdered his father, former PM Rafik Hariri, on February 14, 2005.
Five Hezbollah members have been accused of being behind Hariri’s assassination but the Iranian backed militant group has refused to cooperate with the UN backed STL court which is trying the suspects in absentia.
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