Jumblat slams 'failed presidential tenure', urges dialogue with Hezbollah
Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has lashed out at President Michel Aoun’s presidential term, describing his tenure as “failed,” “spiteful” and “disastrous.”
“Since its beginning, the presidential tenure has been a failed tenure -- a spiteful tenure that wants to liquidate all rivals in politics or the other parties in the Lebanese arena. Lebanon is a pluralistic and diverse country, and pluralism and respecting the other are necessary,” Jumblat said in an interview with Jordan’s al-Mamlaka TV.
“Throughout six years, this tenure has brought us disasters,” Jumblat lamented.
Turning to Hezbollah, the PSP leader said: “Hezbollah did not come to Lebanon from the moon. It came during objective Lebanese circumstances resulting from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and it later came through support from the Islamic Republic of Iran. It exists, it is not comprised of foreigners and it represents a large segment of the Lebanese.”
Jumblat added that any coming Lebanese president must devise a program for dialogue with Hezbollah and later a plan to integrate the group’s weapons withing the Lebanese state’s defense strategy.
“We would later build a strong state, but to build it we need capabilities. Dialogue with Hezbollah and others is essential,” Jumblat added, mocking the Lebanese parties who mention U.N. resolutions when speaking of their strategy against Hezbollah.
“Where has Palestine become in light of Resolution 242? We relied on 242 and Palestine is almost gone,” the PSP leader said.
As for the reports about his meeting with Hezbollah officials, Jumblat said he will meet with Hezbollah representatives in the coming days.
“I will meet with them to discuss some matters that are not related to the thorny major issues such as the presidency. It will rather be an attempt to resolve some obstacles in the electricity file and to establish a Lebanese petroleum company so that the Lebanese fortune does not go to the pockets of some people,” he explained.
As for his relation with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Jumblat said: “He has his policy and I have mine, but we might meet over the broad lines.”