Lebanese Leaders Welcome Geagea-Franjieh Reconciliation
Lebanese leaders on Wednesday welcomed a historic reconciliation between Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh.
“The reconciliation between the LF and the Marada Movement is a white chapter that puts an end to chapters of pain, animosity and unease. We congratulate Suleiman Beik and Dr. Samir Geagea on this major event which was reached under (Maronite) Patriarch (Beshara) al-Rahi’s sponsorship,” PM-designate Saad Hariri tweeted.
Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil said he welcomes “the Marada-LF reconciliation and every other Lebanese reconciliation,” saying the move “closes a wound that was left open for 40 years and completes a reconciliatory course that had started with the return of the General (President Michel Aoun) in 2005.”
Kataeb Party chief MP Sami Gemayel meanwhile said the reconciliation “turns the page on a painful chapter in the history of Christians and Lebanon,” thanking al-Rahi for sponsoring it.
He also hoped the move will be “an additional step towards building national reconciliation on the basis of real democracy and respect for diversity and pluralism.”
“We cannot build a country if our relation is based on the grudges of war,” Independence Movement leader MP Michel Mouawad, who hails from Franjieh’s Zgharta region, said.
The LF-Marada rift had started with the 1978 Ehden Massacre which resulted in the death of Franjieh’s father, mother and three-year-old sister. Dozens of Marada supporters were also killed in the carnage.
Marada accuses Geagea, the LF’s military commander in the North at the time, of leading the squad that carried out the operation. Geagea denies the allegations, arguing that he had been wounded and taken to hospital prior to the bloodbath.