The Free Patriotic Movement announced Sunday in a political paper that is “determined” to review its 2006 memorandum of understanding with Hizbullah and that it wants a “fair distribution” of Lebanon’s financial losses.
The paper was recited by FPM chief Jebran Bassil in a televised address marking the FPM’s March 14 anniversary.
“Israeli understands the language of war and does not understand the meaning of true peace. It wants to impose artificial normalization on (Lebanon) through the clout of foreign forces and under the pressure of crises and suffering, but this will only lead to further hatred and hostility and will make peace distant,” Bassil said.
“Only a Lebanon that has strong security and economy is capable of making just, permanent and comprehensive peace with Israel,” he added.
Commenting on Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi’s call for Lebanon’s neutrality, Bassil said neutrality requires domestic consensus, regional acceptance and international approval.
“Until then… Lebanon should not get entangled in issues not related to it or to its interests,” he explained.
Moreover, Bassil said the FPM have fears over the “adoption of federalism” in Lebanon, seeing as “the fabric of our people and their geographical mixing might turn it into a voluntary segregation of residents due to its reliance on the sectarian and not the regional aspect.”
“This might turn it into a sort of veiled partitioning, which is definitely rejected by us,” he added.
Separately, Bassil said the FPM is determined to review its MoU with Hizbullah in order to “improve” it.
He said such a revision would seek to ensure that Lebanon is protected against any foreign aggression through a consensual national defense strategy.
It would also seek to “build the state through a serious anti-corruption fight” and to “improve” the political system to prevent “obstruction” and achieve “full national partnership among all of the country’s components.”
Turning to Lebanon’s unprecedented economic and financial crisis, Bassil said the FPM calls for recovering deposits transferred abroad in order to achieve a “fair distribution of losses.”
And noting that the FPM “has suffered major injustice” and “false accusations” due to its policies that call for “regaining rights, rejecting naturalization and fighting corruption, Bassil said his Movement should not be on the defensive but rather on the offensive against “those who exhausted the country throughout the past 30 years.”