BEIRUT, Asharq Al-Awsat and Agencies – Lebanon’s army chief, who is poised to become the country’s new president, urged for national unity after feuding politicians agreed to end 18 months of conflict, a newspaper reported on Friday.
“I cannot save the country alone. This mission requires the efforts of all,” General Michel Suleiman told as-Safir newspaper.
Parliament is set to confirm Suleiman as head of state on Sunday, filling a post left vacant since November because of a political conflict which triggered the worst civil strife since the 1975-90 war.
The conflict between the U.S.-backed ruling coalition and the Hezbollah-led opposition was brought to an end by a deal mediated in the Qatari capital Doha this week. The agreement paved the way for Suleiman’s election and the formation of a new government.
Walid Jumblatt, head of the Democratic Gathering Bloc told Asharq Al-Awsat that although there was an “excellent atmosphere” at the Doha talks, he held some fears because “sometimes the devil lies in the details.”
Jumblatt stressed the importance of Arab protection regarding the deal “so that Syria or any of its allies in Lebanon do not try to take control over the new solution.”
The crisis has undermined stability, which has also suffered from assassinations, bomb attacks, a war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006 and a militant Islamist insurrection in 2007.
“Security is not achieved with muscles, but joint political will,” Suleiman said. “We have to fortify ourselves politically and in terms of security through internal unity,” he said.
The opposition will have effective veto power in a new cabinet to be formed after Suleiman’s election. The sides also agreed on a law defining electoral districts for the 2009 parliamentary polls.
An important source from the March 14 Coalition told Asharq Al-Awsat that the nomination of MP Saad Hariri to the post of prime minister is yet to be settled. The source affirmed that a decision in this regard will not be made before Monday evening.