Beirut- During a ceremony held Tuesday on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the assassination of his father, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri indirectly responded to recent statements made by President Michel Aoun concerning the arms of “Hezbollah” and the party’s “resistance role” in Syria.
“We will not compromise our rights, including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, our opinion of the Assad regime and its crimes, our position concerning illegitimate weapons, militias and the involvement of Hezbollah in Syria,” Hariri said Tuesday.
He said Lebanon’s decision is in the hands of the Lebanese state and not in the hands of individuals, leaders or regional or international axes.
A large crowd attended the commemoration of Rafik Hariri’s assassination during a ceremony organized by the Future Movement at BIEL in Beirut, in the presence of representatives of Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and several ministers and MPs, in addition to an array of religious, diplomatic, military and political figures.
The prime minister admitted there is a disagreement in the country on Hezbollah’s weapons and its involvement in Syria.
“There is no agreement on this issue, not in the council of ministers, nor in the parliament, nor on the dialogue table. But what protects the country is that there is a consensus on the army, the legitimate forces and the state, and only the state!,” he said.
Last week, Aoun defended Hezbollah’s arsenal. “As long as there is Israeli-occupied land and as long as the army is not strong enough to fight Israel, we sense that there is a need for the presence of the resistance’s arms so that they complement the army’s weapons,” the President told Egyptian channel CBC.
Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a massive suicide bombing in 2005 that killed 21 others and wounded more than 200 people.
His son said that 12 years after the terrorist crime on February 14th, he does not wish to open the wound, which broke his heart and the hearts of millions of people who loved Rafik Hariri.
“But I cannot fill the pit caused by his death, which produced a painful gap in the body of Lebanon and had devastating repercussions on national peace and on the process of building the state. Justice will fill that gap with time, and justice is coming,” the prime minister said.
Hariri said that few months ago, people were complaining about the dire economy, and a Lebanese Pound being in danger.
However, he said, today the country is discussing for the first time in 12 years issues related to the state budget, to the start of oil exploration, the electricity improvement, and how fast laws are adopted in parliament.
Hariri said those changes made during the past months are the result of “the courage of our decision to elect President General Michel Aoun.”
Hariri said Lebanon would never be, not today nor tomorrow or at any time, part of any axis in the face of its Arab brothers. “We do not seek rivalry with anyone, and will not allow Lebanon to be an arena for the struggle of others on its land. But we sure are an inseparable part of the Arab world and we are concerned in protecting and defending Arab interests,” he said.