Kataeb, LF Officials Laud Raad Apology over Moussawi Remarks
Officials from the Kataeb Party, the Lebanese Forces and other parties on Friday lauded an apology by MP Mohammed Raad, the head of Hizbullah's parliamentary bloc, over remarks voiced Wednesday by MP Nawwaf al-Moussawi.
“If apologizing for a mistake is a virtue, acknowledging each other's martyrs is patriotism. From now on, we should not disagree over the truth: Bashir (Gemayel) is the dream of a people and the martyr of the republic,” MP Nadim Gemayel of the Kataeb bloc tweeted.
Raad had earlier apologized over Moussawi's remarks on Bashir Gemayel and President Michel Aoun, saying the “rejected” statements were “a personal reaction that exceeded limits.”
During a speech by MP Sami Gemayel in parliament on Wednesday, Moussawi said “it honors the Lebanese that President Michel Aoun was elected through the rifle of the resistance while others reached the presidency on an Israeli tank.” Nadim Gemayel hit back, saying “no one reached the presidency on the top of an Israeli tank.”
Lauding Raad's remarks on Friday, MP Sethrida Geagea of the LF bloc said “even political rivalry can be honorable.”
MP George Adwan of the LF meanwhile revealed that he played a role in a mediation that led to Raad's apology.
“I took the initiative on Wednesday evening and I carried out several phone calls to pacify the situation in parliament. I telephoned Minister Jebran Bassil and MP Sami Gemayel and invited them to a meeting and MP Raad later told me that they will voice a stance in the name of the bloc,” Adwan said.
MP Imad Wakim of the LF meanwhile described Raad's move as a “courageous and responsible step.”
“This is the rhetoric that we want among the Lebanese: political competition with mutual respect. Peace be upon those who want peace,” Wakim added.
Social Affairs Minister Richard Kouyoumjian of the LF said: “We honorably meet with those who face us with honorable words and we chivalrously and ethically rival those who respect the right to disagreement.”
For his part ex-minister Melhem Riachi of the LF said “respecting the ethics of discourse is the basis for building an exemplar country.”
“We will build together on the bravery of apology. Bashir will not die,” Riachi added.
Former president Michel Suleiman meanwhile said he “salutes” Raad, calling for drawing lessons from “this courageous initiative.”