Nasrallah confirms ties with President Aoun ‘excellent’, says all sides want Cabinet to be formed

Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, confirmed, in a televised speech on Friday, that his party’s ties with President of the republic Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement are “excellent,” maintaining that those relations were and still are based on mutual respect and solid trust.

“We communicate daily with FPM chief, Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, and FPM members; we meet and deliberate; we ask and give answers. The climate is absolutely positive,” Nasrallah said, warding off rumors speaking of disturbed ties between the two sides, following FPM agreement with the Lebanese Forces.
“Some [side] is trying to depict Hezbollah as being preoccupied with the Lebanese Forces. The LF is an essential force in the country, but we are busy somewhere else, and everybody knows this place, which draws the headway of the situation in the region,” he clarified.

“It is not true that we asked President Aoun to prevail our alliance over his agreement with the LF, or that we asked him to choose between us or them (…) when dialogue kicked off between the FPM and the LF, we were already in the picture, and we gave positive signs,” he underlined.

“Nothing worries us or disturbs us in that respect.”

Nasrallah also denied any discord inside the Shiite duality and the Shiite-Christian one, recommending “those concocting this fabricated tension not to look for imaginary battles because they only lead to imaginary results.”

“He who wants to validate his presence on the political scene by sowing discords only loses respect,” he said, stressing that everybody must play a positive role instead of picking strife.

On the Gulf visit invitations for Aoun, Hezbollah leader said that the President was entitled to travel to any country. “Neither we nor the others have the right to veto his visits.”

“It is in the interest of the new tenure that the President tailor ties with everybody, except with the enemy.”

Moreover, Nasrallah revealed his wish that relations between the FPM and MP Sleiman Frangieh’s Marada Movement would return to their normal course.

Concerning the Cabinet formation, Nasrallah confirmed that Hezbollah was on a daily contact with House Speaker Nabih Berri, as well as with President Michel Aoun and the FPM.
Accordingly, he indicated that not one side concerned with the Cabinet formation wanted this mission unaccomplished, reminding the political forces of the obligation to contribute to facilitating the completion of this process.

Nasrallah also regretted the current political exploitation of the formation delay, denying that Speaker Berri is behind the setbacks.

Furthermore, he highlighted the necessity not to pressure the new tenure, especially that the new government is a transitional one, tasked with conducting the legislative polls.

He then seconded calls to separate the headway of the Cabinet formation from that of the endorsement of a new election law.

Deprecating the current climate suggesting a return to the 1960 law, Nasrallah maintained that building a strong just state entailed an elected Parliament that would represent all the components of the Lebanese people. “This means carrying out honest and transparent polls as per a law that respects the voice of each Lebanese and gives each political force its correct representation.”

“The natural course to build a strong state starts with a new election law (…) the only law that realizes that goal is full proportionality,” he explained.

“The region has entered a new stage. There are projects at the threshold of collapse,” he indicated.

“Do not wait for the regional changes. Come together so that we resolve the complications of the Cabinet formation, prepare for the legislative polls, and build a state,” he concluded.