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Future Bloc: Bassil-Moallem Meeting is an Attempt to Annex Lebanon to Iranian, Syrian Axis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri (L) attend the first meeting of the new cabinet at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Beirut– The Future Movement’s parliamentary bloc led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned of attempts to trap Lebanon into the Iranian-Syrian alliance.

The bloc criticized what it described as “unilateral steps” made by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil through his recent meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem.

In a statement issued following its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the bloc warned of attempts to push Lebanon to communicate with the Syrian regime, in violation of national political agreements.

“This was manifested recently in the unilateral step made by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil through his meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Syrian regime Walid al-Moallem,” the statement said.

The Future bloc lashed out at Bassil for holding talks with his Syrian counterpart, without obtaining a prior permission from the government.

“The bloc considers this behavior as an attempt to push Lebanon into the Iranian-Syrian axis,” it noted.

“They are trying to justify this step through several excuses, such as revealing the fate of the kidnapped soldiers, which proved to be false, and accelerating the return of Syrian refugees to Syria,” the bloc added, noting that terrible crimes committed by the Syrian regime against the people were preventing refugees from returning home.

The bloc said that the working paper submitted by the government to the Brussels’ Donors Conference stipulated the commitment of the Lebanese government to the international laws sponsoring the return of displaced Syrians to their countries, considering that safe areas in Syria are those guaranteed by the international community for the safe return of the displaced to their homes.

The Future Bloc expressed its support to Interior Minister Nohad al-Mashnouq, who decided not to accompany President Michel Aoun on his official visit to Paris, in protest at Bassil’s meeting with Moallem on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.