Hariri Backs Suleiman Statement on Baabda Declaration, Says Agreement a 'Serious Roadmap for Pacification'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday endorsed a recent statement issued by President Michel Suleiman to clarify the Baabda Declaration, describing the agreement as a “serious roadmap” for dialogue and pacification.
“During these difficult days that we are all going through, it is not appropriate to engage in a contentious debate, such as the debate they have started over the Baabda Declaration,” Hariri said in a press release.
“But the statement issued by the presidency in this regard must be endorsed in its entirety, not to glorify the presidency and its clarifications or drag it into the current political polarization in the country … but rather to acknowledge a historical fact that dates back to one year ago,” he added.
The former premier said “unfortunately, the 'forces of confrontation and defiance' want to remove it from the memory and from the official records.”
“The Baabda Declaration is the serious and responsible roadmap for dialogue, stability and the pacification of situations,” Hariri added, calling on the rival March 8 camp to acknowledge this view.
On Thursday, the presdiency said in a statement that the 2012 Baabda Declaration -- an agreement reached among the country's leaders to steer Lebanon clear of the region's crises -- did not tackle the weapons arsenal of the resistance, or Hizbullah.
The rival leaders from the March 8 and March 14 alliances affirmed on June 11, 2012 commitment to the Taef Accord and agreed to keep Lebanon away from the policy of regional and international conflicts to spare it the negative repercussions of the regional crises.
Their agreement became known as the Baabda Declaration, which Thursday's presidential statement said was affirmed by three consecutive sessions.
“The Baabda Declaration did not include any text on the resistance and its arms and did not suggest ways to benefit from the resistance's capabilities,” said the statement read by Retired Brig. Gen. Bassam Yehia, the coordinator of the national dialogue committee.
“Such concepts came as part of the president's proposal of his vision on the defense strategy during a national dialogue session on Sept. 20, 2012,” he said.
The explanatory statement came after both the March 8 and 14 alliances made different interpretations of the document.