Suleiman Urges National Dialogue Powers to Place National Interests above All Else

Posted on: July 22, 2012 at 01:41
President Michel Suleiman stated on Saturday that the national dialogue acts as the “political and security umbrella” in Lebanon given the current situation in the country.

He therefore urged “political powers, especially those participating at the national dialogue, to place national interests above all else and work in a manner that would help preserve security away from the developments in the region.”

He demanded that various parties abandon the positions they had previously made.

“Experience has proven that there can be no substitute for dialogue among the political powers to resolve pending disputes,” stressed Suleiman.

The March 14 forces on Thursday announced their boycott of the upcoming national dialogue session over “the refusal of Hizbullah’s leadership to discuss the issue of arms.”

“The conferees discussed the latest stances voiced by Hizbullah’s leadership, which rejected to discuss the issue of the party’s arms and blocked the possibility to seriously address the issue of illegal weapons,” the March 14 forces said after a broad meeting at the Center House in downtown Beirut.

Their position came shortly after Loyalty to the Resistance bloc head MP Mohammed Raad stated earlier this week: “We are not in need for a defense strategy as Lebanon is still in the process of liberation.”

“We have plenty of time to discuss defense after the liberation is complete,” he said.

The national dialogue resumed in June after a 19-month absence.

It has since held two sessions that were boycotted by the Lebanese Forces, whose leader Samir Geagea had deemed the talks a “distraction.”

The all-party talks are aimed at discussing a defense strategy for Lebanon, resolving Hizbullah’s possession of arms, and the spread of weapons among Palestinian refugees inside and outside of their camps.
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