Nasrallah Says Still Keen on French Initiative but Tells Macron He’s Not Lebanon’s ‘Ruler’

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Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday said his party is still keen on the success of the French initiative but criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his latest remarks.

“We welcomed President Macron’s role and the French initiative for helping Lebanon, but not for him to become a prosecutor, a ruler or a custodian over us. We still support the French initiative but the rhetoric must be reviewed, because national dignity was insulted two days ago,” Nasrallah said in a televised address.

“If you want to know who foiled your initiative, look for the Americans who imposed sanctions and are threatening to impose more and look for King Salman’s speech at the U.N.,” Nasrallah added, addressing Macron.

“We still welcome the French initiative, but the approach that was followed last month cannot be continued,” he stressed.

Noting that a “settlement” is different than “surrender,” Nasrallah responded to remarks voiced by Macron by saying that Hizbullah “does not practice the game of terrorism and intimidation against anyone in Lebanon.”

“We do not tolerate anyone addressing us with this language,” Nasrallah said, telling the French leader that Hizbullah is “not part of the corrupt political class.”

“We did not go to Syria to fight civilians. We went there at the invitation of the Syrian government to fight terrorist groups. It was not us who chose war, the Zionists rather occupied our land,” he added, also in response to Macron remarks.

“What you are asking from us contradicts with democracy. You are asking the parliamentary majority to bow and cede power to the parliamentary minority,” Nasrallah said.

“Our enemies and friends know that we honor our pledges,” he added.

“President Macron, who accused us of intimidation, is the one who practiced the intimidation policy against the heads of parties in order to pass the government,” Nasrallah charged.

As for Mustafa Adib’s botched attempt to form a new government, Nasrallah said Hizbullah “cannot stay out of the government” because it fears for the country and its people.

“We should be in the government to protect the back of the resistance, so that Lebanon does not witness a government similar to the May 5, 2008 government,” Nasrallah added, referring to Fouad Saniora’s government and its decision to dismantle Hizbullah’s military telecommunications network that year.

“What if a new government decides to sell the state’s assets? What if a government accepts the conditions of the IMF without any discussions,” Nasrallah said.

Addressing the international community, Nasrallah said “the coercion method does not work in Lebanon, regardless of its advocates and sponsors, be them the U.S., France or Europe.”

“What was proposed last month was not a salvation government but rather a government named by the club of ex-PMs,” he charged, noting that the French initiative did not mention “the number of ministers nor a rotation of portfolios.”

He added: “Some wanted to eliminate the parliamentary blocs and the President’s powers and they sought to introduce new norms.”

“The naming of ministers for all sects in Lebanon by a single person is dangerous for the country,” Nasrallah warned.

“It was not Adib who was negotiating with us over the government, but rather ex-PM Saad Hariri, and the club of ex-PMs wanted to distribute the portfolios and name the ministers alone,” he lamented.

Separately, Nasrallah said that journalists would be invited to a site in the Beirut suburb of Jnah to refute allegations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the presence of a secret missile depot there.

“Whoever wants to go can go now. If Hizbullah is storing missiles in this facility then there is not enough time to remove them,” Nasrallah said.

“We do not place missiles at Beirut port nor near a gas station and we know very well where we should place our missiles,” Nasrallah added.

“Hizbullah is not obliged to invite journalists to any site mentioned by Netanyahu, but we are doing this now due to the sensitivity of the situation after the August 4 explosion,” he added.

He also said that Netanyahu was “inciting the Lebanese people against Hizbullah as usual.”

“We will allow media outlets to enter the facility so that the world knows that Netanyahu is lying,” he added.

Timeline
  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We welcomed President Macron’s role and the French initiative for helping Lebanon, but not for him to become a prosecutor, a ruler or a custodian over us. We still support the French initiative but the rhetoric must be reviewed, because national dignity was insulted two days ago.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah to Macron: If you want to know who foiled your initiative, look for the Americans who imposed sanctions and are threatening to impose more and look for King Salman’s speech at the U.N.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: Iran does not interfere in the Lebanese affairs and it does not make dictations and we in the Shiite duo take the decisions.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We still welcome the French initiative, but the approach that was followed last month cannot be continued.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We do not accept that anyone addresses us with this language.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We are not part of the corrupt political class.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah to Macron: A settlement is different than surrender. We do not practice the game of terrorism and intimidation against anyone in Lebanon.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: It was not us who chose war, the Zionists rather occupied our land.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We did not go to Syria to fight civilians. We went there at the invitation of the Syrian government to fight terrorist groups.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah to Macron: Our enemies and friends know that we honor our pledges.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah to Macron: What you are asking from us contradicts with democracy. You are asking the parliamentary majority to bow and cede power to the parliamentary minority.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah to Macron: We did not say around the table that we would accept any government.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: President Macron, who accused us of intimidation, is the one who practiced the intimidation policy against the heads of parties in order to pass the government.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: What if a new government decides to sell the state’s assets.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: What if a government accepts the conditions of the IMF without any discussions.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We should be in the government to protect the back of the resistance, so that Lebanon does not witness a government similar to the May 5, 2008 government.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We cannot stay out of the government because we fear for the country and its people.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The coercion method does not work in Lebanon, regardless of its advocates and sponsors, be them the U.S., France or Europe.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: What was proposed last month was not a salvation government but rather a government named by the club of ex-PMs.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The French initiative does not mention the number of ministers nor the rotation of portfolios.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: Some wanted to eliminate the parliamentary blocs and the President’s powers and they sought to introduce new norms.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The naming of ministers for all sects in Lebanon by a single person is dangerous for the country.

  • 9 hours ago

    Nasrallah: It was not Adib who was negotiating with us over the government, but rather ex-PM Saad Hariri, and the club of ex-PMs wanted to distribute the portfolios and name the ministers alone.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: Adib did not consult with President Aoun.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The French must know where they erred, especially as to eliminating the President’s most important remaining power, which is participation in the formation of governments.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We did not put any conditions when Mustafa Adib was nominated and did not make any prior agreement to show our intention to facilitate the process.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: We do not place missiles at Beirut port nor near a gas station and we know very well where we should place our missiles.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: Hizbullah is not obliged to invite journalists to any site mentioned by Netanyahu, but we are doing this now due to the sensitivity of the situation after the August 4 explosion.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah on Netanyahu’s allegations: Hizbullah’s media relations department is calling media outlets to invite them to the site.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The Israeli enemy is maintaining the highest level of alertness on Lebanon’s border and this is something good.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah said Hizbullah still intends to retaliate to the killing of one of its fighters in Syria.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah: The armed groups in north Lebanon were plotting major military action.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah offered condolences to Kuwait over the death of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, saying the late leader played a “personal and major role” in ending Lebanon’s civil war.

  • 10 hours ago

    Nasrallah said security forces made major achievements against the extremist groups in the North during the latest confrontations.

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