Arslan Rejects 'Marginalization of March 8 Druze', Defends Meeting with Jumblat

Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan on Sunday rejected the “approach of the March 8 camp towards the Druze sect” and stressed the need to “preserve the unity of the army, people and resistance” in the Policy Statement of the new cabinet.

During his meetings with popular delegations from several regions, Arslan called on Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam to “take his time and consult with all the political parties in the country in order to form a national unity cabinet that can confront the challenges.”

"A lot of critical junctures are looming in Lebanon's horizon, which requires it to boost its ability to cope with them; preserve its civil peace, security and economic stability; and overcome the regional crises,” said Arslan.

He said any new cabinet must embark on two missions: preserving Lebanon's security and economy.

Arslan also called on Salam to “maintain an essential approach in any cabinet lineup: the unity of the people, army and resistance,” describing it as “one of the general national constants that must be respected in order to provide political and security stability in Lebanon.”

"If we can't form a national unity cabinet and are obstructing its formation, that means we are incapable of gathering all the Lebanese, and if we are really unqualified to achieve that, we must not evade this reality by seeking others types of cabinet,” Arslan added, addressing Salam.

Commenting on the exclusion of his party from the meeting held between Salam and a March 8 delegation, Arslan said: “We totally reject what happened and a number of sects are being marginalized in the March 8 coalition.”

“I cannot accept the marginalization of the Druze sect,” Arslan added, noting that “Druze are the foundations of this country and the Druze community must be dealt with accordingly.”

On his latest meeting with Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat, Arslan said: “We have the right to meet with Walid Beik like the leaders of all the other sects meet together in this country.”

“No one has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of the Druze community, the same as we don't allow ourselves to interfere in the affairs of other sects,” Arslan added.

“I did not allow myself to interfere when a meeting was held in Bkirki between (Lebanese Forces leader) Samir Geagea, (Phalange Party leader) Amin Gemayel, (Marada Movement leader MP) Suleiman Franjieh and (Free Patriotic Movement leader MP) Michel Aoun,” Arslan went on to say.

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