Naharnet

Al-Mustaqbal MPs Say Baabda Declaration has No Value for Nasrallah

Al-Mustaqbal bloc lawmakers criticized on Thursday Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah for allegedly backing off from a deal reached between the rival political leaders last year to keep Lebanon away from the policy of regional and international conflicts.

In remarks to Future TV, MP Ammar Houri said that Nasrallah “has announced his party's withdrawal from the Baabda Declaration.”

Nasrallah said Tuesday that Syrian rebels will not be able to defeat President Bashar Assad's regime militarily, warning that Syria's "real friends," including his group, were ready to intervene on the government's side.

He also acknowledged that members of his group are fighting inside Syria.

During their first national dialogue session in over 18 months, Lebanon's political leaders agreed in June last year to spare Lebanon the negative repercussions of regional tensions by adopting a dissociation policy.

But the March 14 alliance has accused Hizbullah of violating the so-called Baabda Declaration by sending fighters to Syria to help Assad's regime in Shiite villages near the Lebanon border against the mostly Sunni rebels.

Hizbullah members are also reportedly active in the area of the holy Shiite shrine of Sayida Zeinab, named for the granddaughter of Prophet Mohammed and located south of Damascus.

Nasrallah said his fighters had a duty to protect the shrine. Rebels have captured several villages around it and have threatened to destroy it, he added.

According to Houri, Nasrallah's acknowledgment was a sign that the presence of Syrian regime troops in the region of Homs - mainly the town of al-Qusayr that borders Lebanon - and the area of Sayida Zeinab was weak.

“Nasrallah has told us that the regime's army has no presence there and that this situation does not bring comfort to its (Syria's) allies in Lebanon and Iran,” Houri told Future TV.

Another al-Mustaqbal MP, Ahmed Fatfat, echoed similar remarks, telling Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) that Nasrallah's statement was an “official announcement that the Baabda Declaration has no longer any value and that the dissociation policy towards Syria is a huge lie.”

“Hizbullah has turned its resistance weapons into a regional militia arsenal that executes Iran's orders,” he said.

“The state should take an immediate decision to deploy the army on the entire border with Syria to separate Lebanon from the raging fire in Syria,” Fatfat added.

His press office said in a statement that the lawmaker made the same appeal during a meeting with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace on Thursday.

The criticism of both Houri and Fatfat came a day after al-Mustaqbal movement chief ex-PM Saad Hariri said that Nasrallah has completely “written off the Lebanese state” and substituted it with the party.

“The most dangerous remark by Nasrallah was not his position on the Syrian revolt or his undying defense of President Bashar Assad, but his suicidal link of the fate of Lebanon to that of Syria,” he said in a statement.


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