Suleiman: Storm Around Us Can Be Warded Off, Threat Comes from the Little Storms Insideإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday stressed that Lebanon can confront the repercussions of the turmoil in the region, but warned of the domestic threats.
“The outer storm around us can be warded off, but the threat comes from the little despicable storms inside the country,” the president said during a tour of the Jbeil region.
Suleiman reassured that “there will be renewal in Lebanon in light of the transition to democracy in the region and it won't be an arena for conflicts once again.”
Suleiman snapped back at Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh who on Monday described the president as “Syria’s man in Lebanon” during Damascus’ hegemony over the country.
“There are figures who were created by the Syrian regime and when Syria was in Lebanon some figures used to act as Syria’s man in Lebanon, and I’m speaking about President Michel Suleiman, especially during the period they appointed him as army commander,” Franjieh said in an interview on al-Mayadeen television.
Lashing out at the Marada leader, Suleiman said: “Let everyone know that Jbeil gave men to Lebanon before anything else, and those who describe men as being loyal to a country other than Lebanon are not men themselves.”
Separately, he reiterated his call for approving an administrative decentralization law as soon as possible.
The president also voiced confidence in the religious coexistence in Jbeil and across Lebanon.
Earlier on Tuesday, Suleiman stressed the importance of holding the national dialogue which he said is the right place to discuss the national defense strategy.
He said that Thursday’s all-party talks would focus on the strategy in accordance with the official invitation to the national dialogue and the statements issued in the first and second sessions.
Suleiman’s remarks came as informed sources said al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc leader Fouad Saniora will urge the president to postpone the all-party talks.
Al-Liwaa newspaper quoted the sources as saying that Saniora will hand Suleiman a March 14 memo that suggests the postponement of the dialogue set to take place at Beiteddine palace.
According to the sources, the time is not ripe yet to discuss a national defense strategy and reach any results.
But al-Mustaqbal MP Ahmed Fatfat told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that Saniora will visit Suleiman on Tuesday to discuss “what could be done.”
“There won’t be any notification,” he said.
The opposition officials seemed indecisive on whether to participate in the session or not. Sources close to Saniora told several dailies that the opposition officials are still holding consultations to take the appropriate decision.
“Dialogue is an important issue and should be preserved as a means of cooperation and communication among the Lebanese,” they said.
On Monday, Speaker Nabih Berri lashed out at March 14 over its indecisiveness, saying the dialogue can’t remain the “prisoner of the alliance’s mood.”
The last session on July 24 was postponed over the rejection of opposition representatives to attend the all-party talks.
March 14 had tied its participation to a government decision to provide security agencies with the so-called telecom data to help them investigate assassination attempts against MP Butros Harb and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea.
The telecom data has since been handed over to the security apparatuses.
Another reason for the boycott was Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad’s announcement that the national defense strategy is not currently necessary because Lebanon is still in the liberation stage.