Lebanese president calls for inclusive government

Salam has been unsuccessfully trying to form a government for more than three months, unable to bring various factions together.

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August 4, 2013 01:23
1 minute read.
Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman talks, March 15, 2013.

Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Luc Gnago )

 
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Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on Saturday for an inclusive government. This came two days after he indirectly attacked Hezbollah saying that the blood of the Lebanese should not be sacrificed for the interests of other countries.

“The Army’s mission becomes difficult if one or more Lebanese parties become involved in conflicts outside the border, which would lead to importing external crises to Lebanon,” Suleiman said during a speech celebrating Lebanon’s 68th Army Day, which marks the founding of the country’s armed forces, according to a report on Saturday in the Lebanese Daily Star.

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The president, a Maronite Catholic, suggested that Hezbollah’s weapons be incorporated into the country’s army and said, “The time has come for the state to be the main regulator and decision-maker on the use of force,” as quoted by the Now Lebanon website.

Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Tammam Salam has been unsuccessfully trying to form a government for more than three months, unable to bring various factions together.

On Thursday night, two katyusha rockets were fired close to the presidential palace.

Hezbollah was quick to condemn the attack on Friday, dismissing any connection between Suleiman’s speech – which it has criticized – and the attack.

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar, which tends to support Hezbollah, ran an article by Jean Aziz on Friday titled, “The Lebanese President’s Outrageous Speech.”

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