Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019

Aoun to Le Figaro: Lebanon holds onto dissociation policy from regional conflicts

President Michel Aoun reiterated that Lebanon hold onto the dissociation policy from regional conflicts, especially in Syria, renewing rejection of interfering in another country's domestic affairs.

"Lebanon refuses to meddle in the internal affairs of any country; we hold onto the dissociation policy pertaining to the conflicts jolting the region, especially in Syria," Aoun said.

"Our embassy in Syria and the Syrian embassy in Lebanon are still open," he stressed.

The President made these remarks during an interview with Le Figaro magazine, published in today's issue.

Maintaining that he had worked on restoring the state authority, Aoun indicated that his accomplishments included the reorganization of the army and the military operation against terrorist groups in the Anti-Lebanon region.

"The country was rescued from the terrorists of Daesh and al-Nusra Front who had sneaked into Lebanon from Syria," he said.

"Security had been restored," he added.

On the fight of corruption, he stressed that the battle was still underway, vowing not to allow any violation in that respect. "The judiciary will have the final word."

Moreover, Aoun said that the real change was embodied by the endorsement of a new election law instead of that adopted since 1926.

"We adopted the proportional vote mode which allows a better representation of the Lebanese people," he explained.

In response to a question about Hezbollah's "possession of veto right" on the strategic decisions, Aoun answered: "No. In Lebanon, the system is consensual; expressing an opinion does not mean the practice of veto."

"The international pressures against Hezbollah are not new, and they are increasing. Some sides are seeking to square political accounts with Hezbollah after they failed to do so militarily, since it defeated Israel in 1993, then in 1996, and particularly in 2006," he explained.

"Hezbollah's popular base constitutes more than the third of the Lebanese people," he underlined.

"Unfortunately, some foreign public opinion is determined to make Hezbollah an enemy," he added.

Asked whether the south of Lebanon could be used in the confrontation between Iran and Israel, Aoun said: "No."

"If there is no Israeli attack on Lebanon, then not a single gunshot will be fired from the Lebanese soil. But in the event of any attack on Lebanon, then we have the right to self-defense," he added.

In response to a question about the possibility of integrating Hezbollah fighters within the army, Aoun said that this suggestion might be a solution.

He added: "But, for the time being, some are condemning its intervention in the war against Daesh and al-Nusra in Syria. Yet the truth is that the terrorists were attacking our lands, and Hezbollah was defending the lands."

"This party does not play any military role on the Lebanese internal scene and it is not conducting any action along the borders with Israel," he continued.

"Hezbollah's situation has become related to the Middle East question and to solving the conflict in Syria," he added.

Asked about what Lebanon awaits from Europe and France, the President said that Lebanon sought their support as to the progressive and safe return of displaced Syrians to the safe zones in Syria, as well as the increase of their contributions to UNRWA, and their contribution to the investment projects pledged during CEDRE.

"We share together the same course, history, values, and future," he concluded.

Source: National News Agency

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