Jumblat Criticizes Presidency’s Statement about Gharib
Progressive Socialist Party leader ex-MP Walid Jumblat criticized on Tuesday the Lebanese Presidency’s statement about the invitation of dissident Druze cleric Sheikh Nasreddine al-Gharib to Beirut's Arab economic summit.
“The statement of the Lebanese Presidency about inviting a Sheikh along the official spiritual leader of the (Druze) community, Sheikh Naim Hassan, to attend the Arab summit is unconvincing in form and content,” said Jumblat in a tweet.
Describing the statement as an attempt to “please” the Syrian regime, he said the move seems to be part of “returning a favor for the Syrian regime and its allies.”
The Lebanese presidency issued a statement on Monday, clarifying that “the invitation of any religious or non-religious figure to an official ceremony does not represent, in any way, a violation by the Presidency of the national values and principles and subsequently does not represent a violation of the constitution or law and regulations.”
The invitation of al-Gharib to Beirut's Arab economic summit has dismayed the religious leadership of the Druze community in Lebanon, which said that inviting any figure other than the community's official spiritual leader represents a “violation of protocol” and an attack on the National Pact.
Al-Gharib is backed by Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan and Arab Tawhid Party chief ex-minister Wiam Wahhab, who have rejected a 2006 law issued by Parliament and limiting the official representation of the Druze community to a single spiritual leader and to an elected confessional council.