Nasrallah meets with Lebanese Druze leader Jumblatt

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 13, 2011 23:21

Hizbullah leader announces upcoming speech on "latest developments in Lebanon"; says "there will never be a war between the Sunnis and Shi'ites," Al-Jazeera reports; Hariri heads to Turkey.

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Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah with Walid Jumblatt

Nasrallah and Jumblatt 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

Official Hizbullah television station al-Manar reported Thursday that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah will soon make a speech on "the latest developments" in Lebanon.

The Hizbullah leader also met with Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt. In a Hizbullah statement released following the meeting, the Shi'ite group said the two discussed "the latest political developments in Lebanon, the outcome of the Syrian-Saudi efforts and the resignation of the opposition ministers from the government," Lebanese paper an-Nahar reported.

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Earlier Thursday, Nasrallah rejected the possibility of a civil war in Lebanon erupting as a result of the government collapsing, Al-Jazeera reported.

"There will never be a war between the Sunnis and Shi'ites. We will calculate our steps," he said, according to the report.

Turkey's foreign minister said that Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri is traveling to Turkey for talks following the collapse of his government.

Ahmet Davutoglu said that "Hariri will come to our country later tonight and I will meet with him."

The Lebanese government collapsed on Wednesday after Hizbullah and its allies pulled out over differences stemming from the UN investigation into the assassination of Hariri's father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Earlier on Thursday, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman began consultations over the choice of a new prime minister for the country. He met with parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who told reporters after the meeting that the president would begin polling lawmakers on their choice on Monday.

Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that his party will "calculate our steps" after withdrawing from the Lebanese government, at a meeting of party leaders on earlier on Thursday, Al-Jazeera reported.

Nasrallah explained that his party left the government because the "expected result of the international tribunal for the former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri is aimed at the resistance."

Suleiman asked Hariri, as well as other members of his party, to remain in their positions in a transitional government, Lebanese news sources reported on Thursday.

Hizbullah told Suleiman that it will not allow Hariri to continue as prime minister, according to a Thursday report by Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar.

"He is not fit to have this responsibility, as experience has proven," a Hizbullah source told Al-Akhbar.

Another Hizbullah source told Lebanese daily A-Safir that Hariri will not be prime minister anymore "because he is part of the problem, not the solution."


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