Hariri: Israel’s Threats Against Syrian for ‘Local Consumption’
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri said on Monday that Israeli threats against Syria were for “local consumption,” and that he did not foresee war breaking out in the region, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Speaking to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anbaa, Hariri said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in fact “launching war” on the Palestinians “and accordingly we have to be cautious.”
He added that Lebanon always respected UN resolutions while Israel turned its back on them.
“Even if we have reservations on UN resolutions, this doesn’t mean we don’t respect them,” he was quoted as saying.
Hariri told the paper that Lebanon sought to “strengthen its credibility” before the international community.
In Paris, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud urged France and the European Union on Monday to play a greater role in helping to bring peace to the Middle East, said reports.
“Without an increased presence and role by the European Union and France, there will be no just peace,” Lahoud told reporters after talks with French President Jacques Chirac.
Lahoud said European intervention was necessary to counterbalance the “active Jewish lobby in the United States.”
He made the remarks shortly after arriving in Paris on a two-day official visit.
Lahoud denounced the “extremist and aggressive policy” of Sharon, which he said put the entire peace process in doubt, according to Reuters.
During his dinner speech, Chirac reiterated French concern over Lebanon’s unwillingness to deal with attacks by the Lebanese Hizbollah movement in the Shabaa Farms area.
Lahoud said that “according to international law, Lebanon and Syria have to define between themselves the limitations of their borders, which has been done. It is not up to the United Nations to decide if the Shabaa Farms are Lebanese or not.”
According to the Daily Star, Chirac rejected that argument, saying France remained convinced that only a global agreement, in accordance with the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, could ensure a lasting regional peace – Albawaba.com