It is not true that there are external factors hampering the cabinet formation," said Lebanese Forces Party Chief, Samir Geagea, at the conclusion of the memorial Mass in commemoration of the Lebanese resistance martyrs held in Maarab this evening.
"It is also not true that there are faltering sectarian equations, nor is it ever true that there is a war of powers going on," he added.
"The only truth is that there are some within the mandate who are attempting to reduce the representation of the Lebanese Forces and others in cabinet, while on the other hand trying to take on the largest number of ministries irrationally, unrealistically and unacceptably...all under the pretext of the President's share. It is such behavior that strikes the presidential mandate and obstructs it," Geagea went on.
"I call upon President Aoun to take the initiative to save his tenure, starting with the formation of the new government," said LF Chief, urging the President to "testify to the truth, limit the greed of some and rescue the major presidential compromise that is already threatened."
He continued to assure that "when the mandate's greater national achievements are at stake, we will support it to the very end...but when the matter is related to narrow personal interests, we will be against it."
In a word of tribute to LF's martyrs, Geagea said, "Our martyrs have fallen for the state and not for any position in it. Thus, today we insist on full participation in the government in order to preserve the state and help it out of its crisis, in wake of the spreading corruption, lack of planning and exploitation of everything within the state." He added that the performance of LF's ministers in the outgoing government can give a glimpse of what they intend to do in the new government, despite all false allegations and distorting campaigns.
In a word to the Free Patriotic Movement, Geagea considered that the Understanding of Maarab "is a historical achievement that cannot be viewed from a narrow or small angle, and cannot be comprehended correctly unless evaluated from a broad perspective."
"It is true that the tone rises from time to time, but we must not let this divide us again," stressed Geagea, recalling the great satisfaction, joy and relief that were felt upon reaching the Maarab Agreement.
"Remember how our morale rose, while nothing was yet accomplished...Remember how we took off the robe of frustration and despair in a moment and put on the attire of self-confidence and great hope for the future...These historical moments must not be lost for any reason, in order to preserve the hope and ensure the future, God willing," he asserted.
On the normalization of relations with Syria, Geagea said, "We have recently heard some voices calling for Lebanon's return to normalizing its relations with Syria. In Lebanon there is a state, regardless of the extent of its effectiveness, which is a different story...In Lebanon, there is a legitimacy emanating from an actual democratic process, of which we have witnessed a basic chapter in the last three months since the recent parliamentary elections."
"In Lebanon, there are loyalists and opponents, and they all recognize the legitimacy of the state in one way or another. In exchange for this legitimate state in Lebanon, can anyone prove to me a legitimate state in Syria that a majority of Syrians consider it their state?" questioned Geagea.
He added: "If there is a legitimate state in Syria, how can we explain its absence from the Arab League? Is it logical that we, this small country, surpass the Arab League and establish normal relations with a system it has severed its ties with?"
"How can we explain the absence of any diplomatic relations between this alleged state and the overwhelming majority of the countries of the world?" Geagea went on. "Naturally, there are daily affairs that require operational coordination, and this coordination is carried out by the Lebanese General Security to the fullest and with the satisfaction of all the Lebanese, and none of us have any objection to this matter," he added.
Geagea continued to explain, saying, "Those who propose normalization at the political level with the regime of Bashar al-Assad base their argument on two issues, namely the Syrian refugees and the channeling of Lebanese agricultural and industrial crops."
Regarding the Syrian refugees issue, he indicated that Lebanon has shouldered much more than its ability, agreeing that the displaced must return to Syria and expressing support to the policy pursued by the President and the Prime Minister in continuing to cooperate with the relevant international authorities to ensure their return. However, he wondered about the benefit of normalizing relations with Bashar Assad's regime in this respect, questioning whether the Syrian President actually wants the displaced to return? "Indications show that he does not want them to return because of the known demographic, sectarian and strategic reasons!" exclaimed Geagea.
In a message to Hezbollah, Geagea said, "What would a man do if he won all battles and lost his homeland? What ultimately remains for us in the end is our family, our home, our village and our country, so it is very important to put all our effort and blood in our country and for our country alone, and not any other country or any other cause."
"We have one single cause, and that is to care for Lebanon and to ensure its rise to be amongst the finest countries in the world, so that the Lebanese will be comfortable in their country, proud of their identity and passport, unlike the case today. So return to Lebanon in all essence and at all levels. Come back to Lebanon for we all await you!" Geagea underscored.
Referring to comrades of March 14, the LF Chief said, "Our real strength lies in our political project more than anything else. It is very important that we keep this project, even in the form of islands here and there, in the absence of a better option. What is more important is that we remain committed to this project, every individual from his position, because our project holds the seeds of its success."
On the funding problem of UNRWA, Geagea stressed that UNRWA is an international organization established in 1949 to care for Palestinian refugees, awaiting their return to their land, a goal that has not yet been achieved. "It is therefore essential that UNRWA completes its mission, not only for humanitarian reasons but also for fundamental reasons related to the two-state solution," said Geagea.
"Hence, we consider that any manipulation of the right of return by tampering with the fate of UNRWA will have disastrous consequences on the political, military and strategic situation in the Middle East as a whole," he cautioned.
Geagea urged herein the Lebanese authorities to pursue efforts with all friends, especially the Arab countries, to fill the financial gap left by the cessation of US aids to UNRWA, which must be done immediately and permanently to serve the peace in the Middle East.
On the prevailing situation in the country, Geagea said, "The reality in Lebanon is clear in terms of corruption, public indebtedness, economic paralysis and decay at the administrative level, with all the consequences of this reality in terms of low standards of living, unemployment and migration...but be careful not to think for a moment that this reality is hopeless."
"It is true that it is not hopeless, but it is certainly not possible for the hands that have essentially brought it to this point to be able to fix it...Remedy can only be through clean white hands that have perception, ability, intention and planning," emphasized Geagea.
Source: National News Agency