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Saad Hariri: Lebanon Will Never Be an “Iranian Province” | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese former Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Lebanese former Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Lebanese former Prime Minister Saad Hariri

Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri confirmed on Feb.14 that Lebanon, under any circumstance, will not become an Iranian province. He also affirmed that no one should be allowed to drag Lebanon into a feud with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

Hariri also welcomed the reconciliation between commander of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea and Michel Aoun founder of the Free Patriotic Movement. During his speech, Hariri reaffirmed Suleiman Frangieh’s candidacy for presidential elections. He explained that his choice is a move to take action for ending the presidential void even on the account of his party’s personal interests.

“We have the courage to take a stance and announce that we are not afraid of our homeland’s copartner rise to authority” all for ending the presidential vacancy, Hariri said.

The former prime minister gave his speech in Beirut on the 11th anniversary of the assassination Rafic al-Hariri. The event was held in BIEL (Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center) and attended by an audience comprising officials, political figureheads, religious men and party representatives. This is Hariri’s third visit to the country since the Hezbollah-dominated March 8 alliance toppled his cabinet in 2011.

Hariri started his speech by saying that the period of Syrian custody had failed to compromise the Lebanese unity and so will Iranian intimidation and all forms of terrorism. “All assassinations will not break our dreams of Lebanon” he added.

Hezbollah also had their share of heated criticism during Hariri’s speech, in which he condemned their choice of going into war in Syria. He said that Lebanon today pays the price of Hezbollah’s political improvising, their military braggart, their reckless impulse to jeopardize Lebanon’s best interest, and last but not least the prejudice they impose on fellow countries. Hariri made it a point that Hezbollah’s continuously bashes Saudi Arabia, a country that never brought any harm to Lebanon.

Towards the end of his speech “We are sincere. We want a president of the republic. We want to end the vacuum. We have paid the price at home and abroad,” Hariri said.

Addressing his rivals, he said: “Please go to the parliament and elect a president, unless your real candidate is the vacuum.”