Skip to main content

Is the Aoun-Nasrallah Alliance Stagnating?

As relations between Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Party, led by Gen. Michel Aoun, and Hezbollah appear to be stagnating, both sides take time to reflect on the rationality of sustaining Lebanon’s first Shiite-Maronite coalition.
Lebanon's Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah (L) shakes hands with compatriot Christian leader Michel Aoun during a news conference in a church in Beirut, Lebanon February 6, 2006. The Chief of Lebanon's Hizbollah joined forces on Monday with Maronite Christian leader Michel Aoun to call for normal diplomatic ties with Syria. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir - RTR1A3G2
Read in 

Behind the scenes, attempts are under way to stop the atrophy and ambivalence setting in to the relationship between the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), led by Gen. Michel Aoun, whose bloc includes the majority of Christian MPs, and Hezbollah, the most powerful Shiite organization in Lebanon.

The two parties have been close allies since 2006, when Aoun and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah signed a memorandum of understanding at the Mar Mikhael Church in Beirut. The agreement is the first alliance of its kind — between a powerful Shiite party and a Maronite party — since the founding of modern Lebanon. It had been common in the Lebanese political tradition for the Maronite president of the republic to ally with the Sunni prime minister for the administration of presidential mandates during the First Republic. This was simply because authority was administered through a harmonious, working relationship between the Sunni prime minister and the Maronite president while other religious groups, including Shiites, would join the Sunni-Maronite alliance or oppose it, depending on the political circumstances of the time.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.