Hariri Blasts Bassil, Nasrallah and Germanos but Says Settlement Continues
Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday criticized several parties over the political tensions that the country witnessed during his vacation abroad but noted that he is still keen on the political settlement with the other camp.
“One cannot remain silent over mistakes or over any unacceptable remarks that breach the red lines and norms and the country can't be run through gaffes,” Hariri said in an apparent reference to Free Patriotic Movement chief and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil.
“I was dismayed by the remarks attributed to Minister Bassil during his Bekaa visit and the best thing he has done is denying these remarks, because they had negative repercussions,” Hariri added, in his first remarks since the latest political tensions.
“The exchange of tirades was imposed on us and I wanted to pass the budget calmly,” the premier went on to say.
He added: “The country cannot be run through bravados.”
“We cannot disregard the anger in the Sunni community, which is real and has resulted from the political stances of some political partners,” Hariri said.
Reassuring that the premier's jurisdiction is intact and challenging “anyone voicing this lie to tell us how we have relinquished the premier's jurisdiction,” Hariri warned that “the country will pay the price of any dispute with the President.”
“The alternative to the settlement would be descending into the unknown,” he cautioned.
Turning to the row between the Internal Security Forces and State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Peter Germanon, Hariri said “it is unacceptable to see a judge launching a personal campaign against the ISF's command.”
“We will not allow anyone to insult all security institutions,” he said.
He also blamed political interference for the acquittal of Lt. Col. Suzanne al-Hajj in the case of framing the actor Ziad Itani in a fabricated spying for Israel case.
Commenting on recent remarks by Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hariri said Lebanon's ties with the Arab countries cannot hinge on the "mood" of some parties.
“The Premier speaks on behalf of entire Lebanon at any Arab summit,” Hariri added, after Nasrallah said Hariri's remarks at the summit had breached Lebanon's so-called dissociation policy.
Hariri said the remarks were in line with the government's policy statement and Lebanon's stances at previous summits.