We met today, with Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, in the context of the bloc’s ongoing efforts to protect Lebanon, which are increasingly required due to the critical developments in the region and Lebanon. The discussions during the meeting with Prime Minister Mikati were candid, and we demanded that his government takes stronger action to protect our country, being the executive authority responsible vis-à-vis the Lebanese people and the international community for applying the law and the constitution, and for staying under the umbrella of the international legitimacy.
The in-principle commitment to the application of Resolution 1701, as consistently expressed by the Prime Minister, is a good thing; however, what is required clearly, decisively, and swiftly is to translate this commitment into practical steps leading to is actual application, in order to keep Lebanon away from the possible war and destruction, and to prevent it from becoming a battlefield for regional powers at the expense of the Lebanese people.
The actual commitment of the government to the application of Resolution 1701, which provisions do not accept any interpretation or construction, practically means putting pressure to ensure the immediate withdrawal of what is called the rules of engagement and the cessation of hostilities on the borders – which Hezbollah’s Secretary General described as the “distraction battle,” and which has so far led to the displacement of our people in the south and to serious human and economic losses; as well as to exert pressure to prevent any armed presence, whether Lebanese or non-Lebanese, south of the Litani River, other than the Lebanese army and UNIFIL, which are exclusively responsible for border control.
Here, the Tajadod Bloc is keen to bring to the public’s attention the most important provisions of Resolution 1701, which was issued after the July 2006 war and which was approved by all concerned parties.
To remind and emphasize, the resolution calls for a complete cessation of armed hostilities, reiterates its strong support for a strict respect of the Blue Line, and calls for the adoption of security measures to prevent the resumption of hostilities. It also calls for the establishment of an area between the Blue Line and the Litani River, which will be free of any armed individuals, properties, or weapons, except those deployed, in the area, by the Lebanese government and UNIFIL.
The Tajadod Bloc emphasizes the need to address the critical situation that Lebanon is experiencing with transparency, disclosure, and the identification of responsibilities. From this perspective, we believe that the peace and war decision, which the government acknowledged, through its Prime Minister and several of its ministers’ declarations, is beyond its control, must be recovered by it; especially after what we heard in the speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who completely ignored the whole of the Lebanese State as if it did not exist, and linked the future of Lebanon and the Lebanese people to the equations of the regional conflict. This increases our fear that Lebanon, despite the will of its people, slide towards a comprehensive and deadly war. What he announced about the participation in the battle starting on October 8 is, in itself, an explicit violation of Resolution 1701, and an acknowledgment that the south is now a theater of operations completely outside the authority of the State and UNIFIL, especially after a complicity was established with respect to the fact that military operations were carried out by non-Lebanese armed factions across the border.
The Tajadod Bloc, which believes in the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, also stress that Lebanon is an integral and unseverable part of the Arab and global world and considers that Lebanon’s natural role is to support the Arab efforts to end the tragedy in Gaza and to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution, as established by the Arab Peace Initiative declared in the Beirut Summit. It confirms that the current priority is to stop the massacres committed against civilians and medical facilities in Gaza. It is not permissible to remain silent about the genocide suffered by innocent Palestinians.
Finally, in the context of protecting Lebanon and re-empting further vacuums in State institutions, the Bloc called on the Prime Minister to prevent the vacuum at the helm of the military institution, reiterating its warnings against the related risks, especially in the absence of a presidential vacancy, in these exceptional circumstances where the army remains a symbol of what remains of the legitimacy and the guarantor of security and stability. We also insistently demanded from Prime Minister Mikati, urgently, to rehabilitate late President René Mouawad’s airport in Quleiat and open it for the civil aviation activities, in light of the State of emergency witnessed by Lebanon, that requires more than one airport facility, let alone in such exceptional circumstances.”