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geagea-samy-gemayelLebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Sunday saluted Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi over his resignation from his cabinet post, noting that “someone had to take a stance” in light of the latest row with Saudi Arabia and the developments in Michel Samaha’s case.

“I salute justice minister Ashraf Rifi on his stance, seeing as without any political calculations, someone had to take a stance, especially after the deterioration in the relation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the issue of Michel Samaha’s trial,” Geagea told MTV during a phone interview.

“Some issues oblige the person to take a stance,” he added, calling on the government to “take this resignation into consideration” and stressing that “it is prohibited for anyone to undermine Lebanon’s ties with the friendly countries.”

In response to a question, Geagea noted that a resignation of the entire government “will not achieve anything.”

“There is a large number of March 14 ministers in the cabinet and they must voice their viewpoints on Samaha’s trial and the relation with Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Asked why he has allegedly focused his criticism on Hezbollah without referring to Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil in the current row with Saudi Arabia, Geagea warned against getting entangled in “petty details.”

“Supposing that Minister Gebran Bassil has committed a mistake, the government should have summoned him and asked for an explanation, but it didn’t do so, and today it must shoulder its responsibilities,” the LF leader added.

In another interview he warned that “if the government doesn’t take serious steps in the relation with Saudi Arabia, we will witness more resignations.”

Meanwhile, Phalange Party chief MP Sami Gemayel warned that “Lebanon has fallen a hostage in Hezbollah’s hand” as a result of the party’s controversial arsenal of weapons.

“Lebanon must be dealt with as a hostage state,” Gemayel told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television.

“The March 14 forces will make a warning step today and if the government does not respond, we will take other stances,” he added.

He noted that “Hezbollah’s remarks and insults against the kingdom can only lead to the reaction we have witnessed from Saudi Arabia.”

“We have an influential presence in the government along with al-Mustaqbal movement, and we must shoulder our responsibilities,” Gemayel added.

Rifi, a fierce opponent of Hezbollah, resigned over the group’s alleged “domination” of the government.

“From my position as minister in this cabinet, I witnessed what words cannot describe. Today, I am being frank with the Lebanese by saying that the practices of Hezbollah’s statelet and its allies are no longer acceptable,”

https://yalibnan.com/2016/02/21/rifi-resigns-from-cabinet-in-protest-against-hezbollahs-statelet/ , who resigned from government on Sunday wrote in his resignation statement.

As a result of Hezbollah’s remarks against Saudi Arabia and Bassil’s stance at the Arab League Saudi Arabia canceled on Friday a $4 billion aid package for the army and the security forces

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