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BREAKING NEWS - Bassil sends strong words to Hezbollah, Berri

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Sunday issued a stern warning to Hizbullah over the fate of the memorandum of understanding between the two parties as well as the fate of the entire country, as he lashed out at Hizbullah’s ally Speaker Nabih Berri.

“My mind goes first to the families of the port victims who lost their lives due to an unjust crime. It secondly goes to the families of those unjustly detained, who have been deprived from seeing them during the holidays due to the unjust judiciary,” Bassil said in a much-anticipated televised address.

He added that the country needs a "major change" that would include “all aspects of our national life” and a transformation of “the political system and the financial and economic system.”

“Only the President is confined with deadlines and all our calls for rectification, calmly and through a dialogue table, have been ignored,” he lamented.

Hitting out at Hizbullah and Berri’s Amal Movement, known as the Shiite Duo, Bassil decried that “some have turned consensual democracy into a veto right for every sect, and they're using it to paralyze Cabinet or even prevent voting on ordinary resolutions.”

“The central state is a failure under your leadership and due to your system and we don’t want to live in a failed state; we rather want a secular state,” he added.

“We want a civil, secular state, a strong army, a productive economy and an independent foreign policy,” Bassil said.

Addressing Hizbullah about its alliance with Berri, the FPM chief added: “Shiite unity is very important, but when you sacrifice the state and the entire country for it, you lose the country, unity and yourself.”

“We have chosen Mar Mikhail over Tayyouneh, and we're still with this choice, but where is the practical translation of the Mar Mikhail agreement? Where is state building? Can it happen through covering up for corruption?” Bassil said.

He, however, noted that “partitioning and federalism” are not the solution, pointing out that they cannot be implemented in tiny and fragile Lebanon and that they “cannot resolve the disputes over foreign policy and the financial system.”

He added: “We tried to improve the (2006) Memorandum of Understanding (with Hizbullah) behind closed doors, seeing as we do not want to abolish it, but it no longer meets our challenges and the resistance must remain within the state.”

“We need serious dialogue with Hizbullah and we won't win extra votes should we end the understanding,” Bassil said.

Hizbullah leader “Sayyed Hassan (Nasrallah), who has a special place in my heart and mind, will now say that such remarks should be said behind closed doors. He's right, but we tried and talked a lot about profound dialogue to activate and develop the MoU, and we formed a joint committee that met only once, as if there is nothing urgent!” the FPM chief added.

Referring to Hizbullah, he went on to say: “They themselves are not convinced and have no answers, and we ask them they only have one answer: Berri!"

“Lebanon cannot be without a state! They (Hizbullah) are losing people's sympathy and the problem has become with all communities, from all orientations and sects, both allies and rivals. I have warned that the problem has become deep within the FPM's bases, and when I no longer become convinced of some things, I do not try to convince them of them,” he cautioned.

“It is unacceptable to be asked to choose between the state and civil peace,” Bassil stressed.

Criticizing Hizbullah and Berri, he added: “Such a behavior in the government, judiciary, Tayyouneh and the Constitutional Council cannot be tolerated! The story of a bargain, the farce of foiling the solution and the rejected last offer that I received in the last minute cannot be tolerated! The process of infringing on the President's constitutional powers during Michel Aoun's tenure cannot be tolerated!”

Source: Naharnet

Written by The Levant

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