President Michel Aoun has said that Lebanon’s “clear stance” is in favor of resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict through “dialogue,” following the latest controversy over a Lebanese Foreign Ministry statement that condemned over its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“Lebanon has faced difficult disputes, confrontations and security incidents that all ended through dialogue,” Aoun added, in an interview with the Asas Media news website.
“That’s why Lebanon supports political negotiations to resolve the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in line with the principles specified in the U.N. Charter and the relevant international laws that calls for peaceful means in resolving conflicts between nations,” the President said.
Asked about the upcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon, Aoun notes that “Cabinet has appointed the members of the Supervisory Commission for Elections.”
“I can sleep well at night now that I have completed all my duties as to holding the elections, but if someone wants to impede them that will not be my fault,” the President added.
Reminiscing the Christian boycott of the 1992 elections, Aoun said he fears the postponement of the polls under only one scenario: a Sunni boycott of the vote.
“No one can bear a Sunni boycott. We saw what happened in 1992,” he added.
Asked whether the growing disagreements with Hizbullah might lead to an end to the alliance with the Iran-backed party, Aoun briefly answered: “Isolating Hizbullah would lead to a civil war. Should we go to civil war?”
He added that Hizbullah is “dealing positively” with the issue of Lebanon’s indirect negotiations with Israel over the demarcation of the maritime border, a move that is indispensable if Lebanon wants to make use of its offshore gas resources.
“Hizbullah is rational and it has left it to the government to deal with this file. It will back what will be decided in this regard in light of the negotiations and the official line that will be adopted, be it 23 or another one,” Aoun said.
Asked about the “national treason” accusations that targeted him for giving up Line 29 and endorsing Line 23, the President noted that “the objective is to reach a solution that would allow for launching oil exploration as soon as possible according to the recognized line that is registered at the U.N.”
“Lebanon, which is drowning in its many pits and crises, is running out of time,” Aoun went on to say.