Lebanese Christian Forces (FL) party leader Samir Geagea has called on the Hezbollah movement to disarm and end its grip on the country.
“All strategic decision-making should revert to the Lebanese state…and security and military issues should be handled exclusively by the Lebanese army,” Geagea said. AFP.
“No one…should be able to transport missiles from one place to another without the permission and knowledge of the military,” he added in reference to the military wing of the powerful Iran-backed Shiite party. .
The Saudi-backed LF became the largest Christian party following Lebanon’s May 15 general elections amid an unprecedented economic crisis, after overtaking the Hezbollah-allied Free Patriotic Movement.
The Hezbollah-led bloc lost its parliamentary majority, although Hezbollah and its ally Amal won all 27 parliamentary seats allocated to Shiite lawmakers while other coalition members lost seats to the LF and the independent candidates.
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While the elections failed to show a clear majority, Geagea revealed his party was in “intensive talks” with independent lawmakers, saying, “We agree at a minimum on the need to build a real Lebanese state… away from corruption, clientelism, quotas, and private interests.”
Speaking at his residence in Maarab, northeast of Beirut, the 69-year-old reportedly said: “No one should be allowed to use their weapons inside the country.”
“This is no longer acceptable,” he added.
Under the Taif Accord that ended the country’s civil war in 1990, only Hezbollah was allowed to retain its arsenal, which exceeds that of the national army. In 1991, the LF was disarmed of its heavy weapons and some of its units were transferred to the army.
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