March 8 bloc continues to hold Lebanon's interests hostage

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2023-03-20 | 00:55
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March 8 bloc continues to hold Lebanon's interests hostage
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4min
March 8 bloc continues to hold Lebanon's interests hostage

Amid all the crises in the country, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi took the initiative to call on Christian MPs to undertake a spiritual retreat in Harissa.

This article was originally published in and translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan.
As the country grapples with a political impasse, it appears that the Hezbollah-Amal Movement will portray the presidential crisis as a product of a "Christian and Maronite crisis." There is also an apparent attempt to mask the reality that the situation results from the deep split between two conflicting agendas, including Christian and Muslim components.

The first agenda is the March 14 revolution and the October 17 coup, while the other is the March 8 and the Mar Mikhail Agreement, which dominated the state and obstructed constitutional obligations, and resulted in the oppression, impoverishment, humiliation, and Arab and international isolation of the Lebanese people.

Despite this, the March 8 bloc continues its policy of denial and stubbornness, holding Lebanon's interests' hostage' on the presidential, economic, and financial files.

Moreover, Hezbollah-Amal Movement continues to play the game of draining time and risking cutting 'the Arab and international rescue ropes' that have been extended to lift the country out of its crushing crisis by insisting on the "presidency" of Sleiman Frangieh against the will of the Lebanese majority and foreign opposition.

However, some sources revealed that Speaker Nabih Berri treats the issue of supporting Frangieh's nomination as vital and does not hesitate to engage in any "internal or external adventure to achieve his goal."

The same sources said Berri is in constant contact with the French side to push for any settlement allowing the candidate of the Hezbollah-Amal duo to reach the Presidential Palace "at any cost."

The sources also mentioned that Berri is focusing on re-strengthening the agenda of "time-passing" as he recognizes that the impact of the Saudi-Iranian agreement on the Lebanese arena may take longer than expected.

As for external stances on the Lebanese crisis, reliable sources told Nidaa Al-Watan that Paris is working on marketing the three-sided proposal based on the "Trio" Sleiman Frangieh for the presidency, Nawaf Salam for the prime ministry, and Samir Assaf for the governorship of the Central Bank.

These sources also revealed that "the Paris consultative meeting last week revealed to the French that Saudi Arabia is still on its position of rejecting support for any project in Lebanon that does not rely on reformative foundations, either in the required specifications for presidential nominations or in rescue programs." The same applies to Americans, who seem to insist on the importance of presenting the "program first" in the reform process before discussing the endorsement of any presidential or governmental candidates in the future stage.

This is based on the firm conviction that supporting Lebanon should be based on a "program, not on personalities" and that its funding to overcome the crisis "will only be through a roadmap agreed upon and compatible with the programs of the International Monetary Fund."

In this context, the American Task Force for Lebanon delegation visited Beirut as a key stop in exploring ways to assist Lebanon in overcoming its political and economic crisis.

According to a well-informed source, the discussion with Lebanese leaders revolved around maintaining security and civil peace as the last remaining elements of Lebanese resilience because chaos would lead to unprecedented losses and structural deformities.

The same source clarified that the American delegation carried a strong affirmation from Washington of its support for the Lebanese army and its assistance, particularly in light of the current circumstances in which its burdens and responsibilities continue to grow.
 

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