Beirut: Lebanon Caretaker Foreign Minister and head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) Gebran Bassil boasted of his, and his movement’s, abilities to persuade Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Syria.
Bassil did not elaborate on how he could persuade Hezbollah, or whether he even would do such a thing.
In an interview with the pro-Hezbollah Al Mayadeen television station, Bassil stressed that President Michel Aoun “is the ally of all Lebanese and the FPM is a proud ally of Hezbollah”.
“Hezbollah is our ally and our understanding with them protected the country and led to the election of the president,” he added.
Bassil claimed that Hezbollah participation in the Syrian civil War “somehow prevented the spread of terrorism to Lebanon”.
As for the stalled cabinet formation process, Bassil said he expects the new government to be formed before Christmas.
He also denied that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is vetoing the participation of anyone in the new cabinet.
Turning to the Syrian conflict, Bassil said: “We support the victory of the Syrian people and their choices.”
He also noted that Syrian leader Bashar Assad is “Syria’s legitimate president” and that he is recognized by the United Nations.
“Syria’s stability boosts Lebanon’s stability,” Bassil added, pointing out that “the Syrian government’s control of the areas that neighbor Lebanon contributes to ensuring a part of the country’s (Lebanon’s) stability.”
Bassil also revealed that President Michel Aoun’s first foreign visit will be to Saudi Arabia in order to “rectify ties between the two countries