Anti-Syrian MP Boutros Harb on Thursday declared his candidacy for Lebanon's presidency, calling for renewed national dialogue and reconciliation with Syria. Harb said he would help end Lebanon's 10-month political crisis between the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and the opposition, led by Hizbullah.
"My candidacy is linked to the consensus between both parties," Harb told a news conference in parliament, where he also called for an "honourable solution" to demands for the disarmament of the Shiite movement Hizbullah. Harb, the first person to officially announce his candidacy, said, according to AFP: "If I am elected president of the republic, I shall open up dialogue at the presidential palace and I will preside over it."
Concerning the disarmament of Hizbullah, which is backed by both Syria and Iran, Harb stressed the need to "find an honourable solution." "We need to consecrate the principle of the state holding a monopoly on arms," he said, "while not disavowing the sacrifices of the Resistance (Hizbullah).
"The capabilities of the Resistance should be placed at the service of the legitimate power."
Additionally, Harb called for an "historic reconciliation with Syria."