Report: Mustaqbal-Hizbullah Tensions Weigh Heavily on Political Scene as Salam Urges Sensible Stances
Tensions between the Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah reached their peak over the weekend in light of party chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's response to Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq's recent speech, with the cleric stressing his commitment to dialogue and the minister threatening to quit it, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Monday.
The dispute between the two sides is threatening the 20th Mustaqbal-Hizbullah dialogue scheduled for October 26 and the country's national dialogue.
Informed sources told al-Joumhouria that the escalation is “linked more to the growing tensions between Tehran and Riyadh rather than the situation in Lebanon.”
“The fiery speeches will have short-term repercussions over the two sets of dialogue,” they predicted.
They also doubted that the dispute will hamper efforts to hold a cabinet session over the trash disposal crisis.
They remarked however that the heightened differences between the Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah have hampered Prime Minister Tammam Salam's efforts to call cabinet to session.
He was hoping to convene cabinet to address the waste crisis and approve a number of laws and decrees, explained the sources.
Easing the tensions “requires great efforts,” they continued, while highlighting the role of Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat to that end.
Meanwhile, Salam highlighted the “dangerousness” of the current regional situation, hoping that “all sides would assume their responsibilities.”
His visitors on Sunday told the daily that he “will never abandon his responsibilities” and that he is seeking to “maintain government and constitutional institutions' readiness to follow up on the people's pressing needs should it be unable to reach an agreement over greater affairs.”
On the war of words between the Mustaqbal Movement and Hizbullah, the premier said that it will only create more division and fuel tension among the people who “have grown weary of the debate that cannot resolve any pending security or administrative dispute.”
Mashnouq on Friday warned that the Mustaqbal Movement might quit the government and the ongoing dialogue if the political deadlock continues in the country.
Nasrallah on Sunday voiced his party's commitment to the government and dialogue, adding: “We refuse to be blackmailed. Those who wish to stay in the dialogue sessions and the government are welcome, and those who wish to leave, are free to do so.”