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Sigrid Kaag
Sigrid Kaag

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag  reprimanded  on Monday  President Michel Aoun’s defense of  Hezbollah’s arms by stressing that U.N. Security Council resolution 1701 calls for the “disarmament all armed groups” in Lebanon,

Implementing  SCR [Security Council resolution] 1701 is vital for Lebanon’s stability [and] security,” Kaag stressed  in a tweet.

The UN resolution   ended the 2006 Israeli – Hezbollah war  after calling for an immediate end of hostilities, the deployment of the Lebanese Army and establishment of a weapons-free zone south of the Litani River.

1701 also  stipulated, among other things, the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon.

The Phalange  Party Monday also rejected the presence of arms in Lebanon outside the state’s authority.

“All arms but the legitimate arms… contradict the state project,” the Phalange  Party  said in a statement issued after its weekly meeting, chaired by the party’s chief Sami Gemayel.

The Lebanese Army and Security Forces solely “have the right to defend Lebanon’s territories, people and state institutions, the statement continued, and called on Lebanese to respect U.N. resolutions, particularly Security Council resolution 1701.

Kaag’s tweets come  after Aoun said that Hezbollah’s military wing was a crucial part of Lebanon’s defenses and acts as a complement to the Lebanese Army.

The president added that he believed the group’s arms “don’t conflict with the state [security apparatus but are] … an essential part of defending Lebanon.”

He made his comments during an interview with Egypt’s CBC TV channel on Saturday.

The president cited Israel’s continued occupation of Lebanese territories and ongoing tensions over natural resources as a need for Hezbollah to bolster the state’s military capabilities.

“As long as the Army doesn’t have the needed power to fend off [Israel’s] threats … We feel the need for [Hezbollah’s] weapons to be there to complement the role of the Army,” he said.

Aoun   in his interview tried  as in the past  to justify the presence of Hezbollah arms in Lebanon , stressing that the Lebanese army’s weakness  .

Aoun, a key ally of the Iranian backed militant group  also issued a personal guarantee  that Hezbollah   will not point its guns against the Lebanese people.

Hezbollah  arms are a huge liability for Lebanon

But Aoun’s guarantee  according to analysts does not carry a lot of weight in  Lebanon  because he  has been allied with Hezbollah for 11 years  and has been defending the party ever since.

Hezbollah, which was credited with liberating Lebanese territories from Israel in 2000 was a very popular organization in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world. But according to analysts ever since the Lebanese territories were liberated Hezbollah has become a huge liability for Lebanon.

In 2005 former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated and 5 Hezbollah members were accused of being behind his murder and are being tried by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in absentia because Hezbollah refused to hand them over to the court.

In 2006 Hezbollah kidnapped 3 Israeli soldiers which triggered a war with Israel that devastated Lebanon. Soon after the war ended Hezbollah occupied downtown Beirut and tried to use its arms internally to bring down the government of former PM Fouad Siniora.

In 2008 Hezbollah pointed its guns against the Lebanese people when it occupied more than half of Beirut and tried but failed to occupy Mt Lebanon .

In 2011 it brought down the government of former PM Saad Hariri and reportedly used its arms to force progressive socialist party leader MP Walid Jumblatt and his parliamentary bloc to vote for their candidate Nagib Mikati as the new premier .

Hezbollah’s current support for the Syrian regime in its brutal crackdown against the pro democracy uprising is another main concern for the Lebanese people, analysts say.

Hezbollah and its backer Iran were  blamed for the   29 month of presidential vacuum in Lebanon.

For the above reasons analysts consider Hezbollah the number one liability for Lebanon.

 

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