Mufti Qabalan: “Lebanon oil wealth is a red line’ warns politicians against stealing it

Grand Jaafarite Shiite Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan called on the  Lebanese politicians  to end wrangling over the country’s oil and gas wealth, urging them to focus instead on the people’s concerns and livelihood matters.

“It is painful to see the ruling class is trying to secretly put their hand on the oil wealth, while the country is passing through the most difficult circumstances. This wealth belongs to the people, it is their right and we warn against any attempts to steal it,” said Qabalan in a speech during Friday prayers.

He added: “Oil wealth is a red line. We urge everyone to stop wrangling over oil spoils and remember that the (government) budget deficit has exceeded $84 billion, unemployment hit unprecedented numbers adding to the crisis of Syrian refugees and foreign employment,” and many other problems.

Qabalan accused the ruling class of being “power greedy” and indifferent to  the people’s concerns while focusing on wrangling over ministerial shares and quotas in the government.

Last month  he appealed to  Michel Aoun to “give up” his presidential share in the government

Voicing calls to expedite the formation process of the government while marking the Hijri Year, Qabalan said: “We appeal to the President, in his capacity as the father of all Lebanese, and in favor of national interest, to give up his ministerial share in the government in favor of his hooligan and obstructive sons.”

The Sheikh called on all political officials to ease their demands and conditions in order to lineup the delayed Cabinet which Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri was tasked to form since May 24.

Because of conflict between the political parties over shares and quotas, mainly the Druze and Christian representation, Hariri’s mission has since been delayed.