Nasrallah Says Hizbullah Not Opposed to Hariri's Designation as PM, Calls It 'Very Big Sacrifice'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed Sunday that his party is not opposed to the re-designation of al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier, describing the stance as a “very big sacrifice.”
“Nothing was for free. There were discussions for more than a month. They asked about the premiership should they accept to vote for General (Michel) Aoun for president,” said Nasrallah in a televised speech marking a week since the death in Syria of Hizbullah commander Hatem Hamade – referring to officials from Hariri's al-Mustaqbal Movement.
“They received an answer from General Aoun and from (Free Patriotic Movement chief) Mr. Jebran Bassil and yet they insisted on asking us and hearing from us and we told them that we do not mind,” Nasrallah added.
“This a huge decision at all the political and psychological levels. Some parties are saying that they are offering sacrifices and I would also like to announce that we are offering a very big sacrifice when we say that we are not opposed to the appointment of ex-PM Saad Hariri as premier,” Hizbullah's chief went on to say.
He described Hariri's official endorsement of Aoun's nomination as an “important development” that “largely paves the way for holding the presidential election in a realistic manner.”
“Hariri's endorsement speech carried escalation and attacks against us but we will not respond now and we will focus on the positive side,” Nasrallah added.
“Everything can be addressed through dialogue and it will be addressed through dialogue,” Hizbullah's leader stressed.
Commenting on recent media reports, Nasrallah added: “I stress that none of the allies and rivals is thinking of chaos and civil war and what was attributed to AMAL Movement's leadership in this regard is baseless and has been categorically denied.”
As for AMAL's concerns regarding the FPM-Mustaqbal agreements that preceded Hariri's endorsement of Aoun, Nasrallah emphasized that “no one in Lebanon is thinking of establishing a bilateral form of power-sharing on a political, sectarian or two-party level.”
“Everyone in Lebanon realizes that Lebanon cannot be run and that it does not bear to be run by any bilateral agreement, no matter what any two parties might represent, but some indications have stirred concerns and we must all address these points of concern,” he said.
As for political calls that Hizbullah should press its allies to endorse Aoun's nomination, Nasrallah added: “We do not order or pressure our allies and they do what they are convinced of.”
“After Hariri's declaration, we started exerting efforts with our allies and we will continue that and we're looking forward to a calm and reasonable election,” he said.
And lamenting that “some parties are trying to stir discord between us and the FPM, between us and AMAL, and between us and Marada Movement,” Nasrallah underlined that the Hizbullah-AMAL relation is “deeper, stronger and firmer than being affected by all these bad fabrications that some have resorted to.”
“We sit together with Speaker (Nabih) Berri and we discuss the things that we disagree on. We understand Speaker Berri's stances and he understands our stances. We will vote for Aoun in the presidential election session and AMAL might vote for someone else. This is not a distribution of roles but is rather called 'allies who respect each other',” Nasrallah added.
“Our electoral choices will not affect our good ties,” he stressed.
Addressing FPM's supporters, Nasrallah called on them not to believe those who are saying that Hizbullah “does not want Aoun for the presidency,” in an apparent reference to Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.
“Our commitment to General Michel Aoun's nomination is final. The Loyalty to Resistance bloc will attend the session and all the members will vote for General Aoun,” Nasrallah emphasized.
As for Syria, Nasrallah reiterated that the Aleppo battle is “decisive for the entire region because it will have military, strategic and political repercussions.”
“No one ordered us to go to Syria and we went there after a comprehensive and extensive analysis,” he said.
“The battle in which the martyr Alaa (Hatem Hamade) was martyred is still ongoing and we will maintain our presence in it,” Nasrallah added.
Hizbullah's chief also stressed that his party's fighters will not "return to Lebanon" before "achieving victory in Syria."
Berri, who has openly declared that he opposes the election of Aoun, has pledged that his bloc will take part in the October 31 electoral session and that he will not try to strip the meeting of its quorum.
Berri's aides have accused Aoun and Hariri of striking a “bilateral” agreement that would marginalize Shiites in power, allegations that Aoun and his movement have denied.
Aoun was tipped to become president after Hariri formally endorsed his nomination on Thursday.
Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Michel Suleiman ended in May 2014 and Hizbullah, Aoun's Change and Reform bloc and some of their allies have been boycotting the parliament's electoral sessions, stripping them of the needed quorum.
Hariri had launched an initiative in late 2015 to nominate Hizbullah's ally and Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh for the presidency but his proposal was met with reservations from the country's main Christian parties as well as Hizbullah.
The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid have argued that he is more eligible than Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.