March 14 Calls for Reconciliation in Tripoli as Saniora Says Syria Leading Sunnis to Extremism

The March 14 camp announced on Sunday the Tripoli Declaration, which calls for national reconciliation in the city.

It said: “The reconciliation should be held after calm has been restored in Tripoli.”

It made the announcement during a March 14 conference on “Coexistence in the North is a Joint National Responsibility” held in the northern city of Tripoli.

“The North has suffered at the hands of the Syrian regime through its local pawns that are backed by Iran,” the conferees added.

They demanded that those linked to the bombings and violence in the city be brought to justice.

They also called on the security forces and army to deal firmly and fairly with any attempt to create unrest.

“Trust must be restored between the people and the state through bringing to justice all those who have wronged the city,” they declared, while highlighting the need to combat poverty in Tripoli.

The conferees agreed to the formation of a committee to follow up on the decisions of the conference and make sure that they are being implemented.

Earlier on Sunday, head of the Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora accused the Syrian regime of seeking to lead Lebanon's Sunnis towards extremism, but stressed that it will fail in its plot.

He declared at the opening of the conference: “The Sunnis will not fall victim to the regime's plot to create strife and division in Lebanon.”

“Lebanon's Sunni's have always been moderate and they have always respected the state,” he stressed.

He accused the Syrian regime of leading them towards extremism in order to target the state's institutions, especially the army.

“The regime wants the Lebanese people to yield to it, but they will not surrender because Lebanon is stronger than the plots being devised against it,” added Saniora.

“The conspiracy against Lebanon will fail because the people's will to live will persevere,” he continued.

“We are committed to a Lebanon of coexistence, freedom, and democracy,” he said.

Lebanon will not succumb to Persian, American, or European plans, he remarked.

Moreover, the head of the Mustaqbal bloc noted that Lebanon was victorious against the Syrian regime in the past and it will not surrender to it or extremism.

“We reject extremism displayed by any power. We reject extremism demonstrated by some Christians, some Shiites, and some Sunnis,” he declared.

He therefore demanded the formation of a government that does not consist of political party figures, the withdrawal of Hizbullah fighters from Syria, and the deployment of the army along the border with Syria.

Tripoli had been plagued by numerous rounds of clashes between the rival Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods.

They have gained in intensity since the eruption of the unrest in Syria in March 2011.

The clashes have been linked to the conflict in Syria, with Bab al-Tabbaneh supporting Syrian rebels and Jabal Mohsen backing the Syrian regime.

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