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Dispute between Lebanese president, Hezbollah heats up

As presidential elections approach in Lebanon, the dispute between President Michel Suleiman and Hezbollah over the latter’s intervention in Syria has intensified.
Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (L) and Parliament speaker Nabih Berri (3rd L) look on as Hezbollah's deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem (C) greets released Lebanese prisoner Maher Qorani at Beirut airport July 16, 2008. Five Lebanese freed from captivity in Israel were flown to a heroes' welcome in Beirut on Wednesday after Hezbollah returned the bodies of two Israeli soldiers seized in a cross-border raid in 2006. REUTERS/ Mohamed Azakir   (LEBANON) - RTX7ZV4
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The political truce in Lebanon did not last long, as a heated debate was sparked off once again between Hezbollah and President Michel Suleiman. This came as no surprise. The points of disagreement remain unresolved and continue to revolve around the ongoing intervention of Hezbollah in the war raging in Syria. Before the outbreak of the Syrian war, the bipartite issue of the army’s arms and Hezbollah’s weapons was a point of disagreement between the March 8 and March 14 camps.

For his part, the president took a medial stance. He was trying — through the dialogue table — to find a unifying approach to reconcile between the imperatives of resisting Israel’s ambitions in Lebanon on the one hand, and the requirements of Lebanese sovereignty and the principle of limiting weapons to the Lebanese state on the other. This is not to mention Lebanon’s international obligations, especially when it comes to implementing international resolutions, namely UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The president’s intention was clearly reflected in his proposal for an “integrated national defense strategy,” which he distributed to the participants in the dialogue table on Sept. 20, 2012.

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