Leader of Lebanese Patriotic Movement claims to have met with Hizbollah
A woman holds a poster of Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during a protest (AFP file photo)
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Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun has denied that he had differences with Hizbullah and confirmed that he had lately held talks with the party leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
“We haven't disagreed,” Aoun told An Nahar newspaper published on Sunday. “There were some thorny issues linked to internal affairs … that we resolved.”
But the FPM chief stressed that the disagreement on those issues was not with Hizbullah, a veiled reference to the party's ally, Speaker Nabih Berri, who is also the head of the Amal movement.
Asked about the differences with Berri, Aoun said: “The tension has disappeared.”
“It is natural to have different point of views between lawmakers and the speaker,” said Aoun, who is the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc.
He reiterated that he had “friendly ties and a common stance” with Hizbullah, saying “we support the resistance as long as Israel continues to threaten us daily.”
Aoun also confirmed that he had lately met with Nasrallah. “We met and spoke about the situation in general,” he said.
“It is our right to hold bilateral talks and not to reveal our political plans,” Aoun added.
The head of the Change and Reform bloc also defended Hizbullah's fighting in Syria.
“The Lebanese situation and the vacuum on the Lebanese border compelled (Hizbullah's) intervention in al-Qusayr,” he said.
Hizbullah was instrumental in helping secure a Syrian regime victory in the strategic town of Qusayr near the border with Lebanon last month. The move was widely condemned by the international community and Lebanon's March 14 alliance that backs the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“The armed operations (launched) from Lebanese territories on Syria had almost caused civil war,” Aoun said, adding Hizbullah's intervention in Qusayr “was necessary for such a war not to take place.”
But when asked that his son-in-law Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil had lately criticized the meddling, Aoun said: “We are against intervention in general.”
“But the security situation compels politicians to interfere,” he added.