Hezbollah accuses US of meddling in the Lebanon crisis

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Hezbollah accused the United States of meddling in forming a new Lebanese government on Friday, the strongest accusation so far of US involvement in Lebanon’s political and economic crisis.

While Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, Sheikh Naim Qassem, told Reuters he saw no signs of a new civil war in Lebanon, stressing that Hezbollah would not be dragged into strife.

Sheikh Qassem said the economic crisis that has spread to the banking system has hit Hezbollah’s Shiite environment “as any Lebanese citizen of any sect and sect… is affected. the crisis”.

He added that Hezbollah had supported popular demands to bring corrupt officials to trial “whoever it was”.

Lebanon has plunged into a deep crisis since protests against the ruling elite broke out last month. Protesters’ anger has been fueled by what they see as corruption among sectarian politicians who have ruled Lebanon for decades.

The political solution has been deadlocked since Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister on October 29, ousting a coalition government that includes Hezbollah, which has a large arsenal of weapons.

Hezbollah had more representation in Hariri’s government than any previous government, reflecting a political balance in favor of the group in the 2018 parliamentary elections.

Hariri, allied with Western and Gulf Arab states, wants to return as prime minister and form a cabinet of cabinet ministers and exclude other parties, a condition that effectively limits Hezbollah’s role in the government.

Although they have a parliamentary majority, Hezbollah and its allies, including the Free Patriotic Movement, continue to seek an agreement with Hariri on forming a government that includes politicians and experts.

“The first obstacle in forming a government is America because it wants a government like it and we want a government like the Lebanese people and the needs of the Lebanese people,” Qassem said.

“America is moving in secret and imposing its conditions and seeking to have the results for its interests, and this is what makes the crisis take time until the external parties desperate to achieve what they want.”

Referring to the words of former US Ambassador to Beirut Jeffrey Feltman before a committee in the US Congress on the Lebanese crisis, saying: “Feltman says clearly what America wants. America wants a government that has no policy on the basis that it believes that it affects more, this is the American opinion, and wants a government that works with the West and takes American interests directly, this is the content of his words. .

Qassem pointed out that America wants its share of Lebanon and said that Feltman “when the Lebanese threatens to choose between the path leading to permanent poverty or potential prosperity, it gives way to the options that America wants as a solution to the rescue and this is totally contrary to the rights of the Lebanese people … An appropriate government in harmony with the best protection of American interests is working to confiscate the opinion of the Lebanese people in their government. ”

“Let it be clear that the Lebanese people have chosen a representative parliament and the government is chosen and given confidence through the decision of the parliament and there is no other way to accomplish this,” he said. What the representatives of the people, who take into consideration their rightful demands, see what is achieved for Lebanon and not what America dictates under pressure, whatever the pressure.

Qassem said US officials were in direct contact with Lebanese politicians. “Let us let us understand and the more they intervene, the more they delay the solution. Now the solution is delayed because of America.”

Although Hezbollah and its allies, including the Free Patriotic Movement, have a majority in parliament, they are still seeking a compromise with Hariri to form a government they want inclusive among cabinet ministers and politicians.

Asked why Hezbollah and its allies did not form a government in isolation from Hariri, Qassem said: “We would like Hezbollah to come as a result of understanding and consensus among the actors in Lebanon. The coming days some signs of solution if the complexities do not continue.”

“We do not prefer to have mutual challenges in choosing the prime minister, but the Lebanese situation requires the rescue to have an important amount of dialogue and understanding on the prime minister, the form of the government and the content of the government,” he added.

The prime minister’s post is reserved for Sunni Muslims under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system and Hariri is the country’s most powerful Sunni leader. Qassem said that “contacts exist between Hezbollah and Prime Minister Hariri permanently and are continuing in order to form and choose the prime minister, this is one of the things that we must cooperate with all parties.”

The United States says it stands with demonstrators demanding reform and an end to corruption and is ready to work with a new government that can build a stable, prosperous and independent Lebanon.

Sources close to Hariri have said he sticks to his demand to form a government of specialists because he believes their chances will be stronger with outside support.

Kassem described the financial situation as difficult and more difficult during the recent crisis with the resignation of the government.

He believed that “the beginning of the solution was formed by the government in order to begin to develop steps to address. We had approved a reform paper in the resigned government before it resigned and it helps to start as a first step … when a government is formed to take this reform paper or amendments or additions to address the issues in Lebanon.”

He pointed out that the causes of the economic crisis are wrong policies and corruption.

“We are with the people 100 percent to prosecute the corrupt,” he said. “The corrupt in Lebanon should be held accountable, whoever it is, because the corrupt takes the right of the poor and the general public to take away their money and rights.” We are with all measures that reduce corruption, recover looted funds and hold corrupt people accountable. I hope that we succeed in this, especially through the judiciary.”

Protests in Lebanon remained largely peaceful despite circumstantial frictions.

“I do not see signs of a civil war in Lebanon and Hezbollah is determined not to fall into the strife that America wants, but we have information about America’s attempts to find some security unrest. We will try to avoid what we can,” he said.

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