Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday announced that his party will facilitate the formation of the new government as he welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a new political pact in the country.
“We hope the parliamentary blocs will be able tomorrow to name a PM-designate who enjoys the constitutional requirements,” said Nasrallah in a televised address marking the last day of the Shiite Ashura commemorations.
“We need a government that can revive the economic and social situations, carry out reconstruction (of areas devastated by the port blast) and achieve reforms,” Nasrallah added.
“Whether in naming the premier or forming the government, we will cooperate to pull the country out of any governmental vacuum,” he went on to say.
Commenting on recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, Nasrallah said: “The French president called for a new political contract in Lebanon during his recent visit… We are open to any calm discussions in this regard, but we have a condition, that the discussions should enjoy the consensus of all Lebanese components.”
Nasrallah did not elaborate on what kind of changes his movement was willing to consider but cited criticism from “official French sources” over Lebanon’s “sect-based political system and its inability to solve Lebanon’s problems and respond to its needs.”
Lebanon recognizes 18 official religious sects and its 128 parliamentary seats are divided equally between Muslims and Christians, an arrangement unique in the region.
However, governments born out of this system have been prone to deadlock and have failed to meet popular demands for better living conditions.
Macron, the first world leader to visit Lebanon after the devastating August 4 Beirut port blast, will return on Monday to press for reform and reconstruction.
On his earlier visit days after the blast, the French president said Lebanese leaders had a “huge” responsibility: “that of a revamped pact with the Lebanese people in the coming weeks, that of deep change.”
On Friday, Macron spoke of the “constraints of a confessional system” in a country populated by Christians, Sunni Muslims and Shiites.
He said this, combined with “what can be mildly described as vested interests” had prevented political renewal and made reforms almost impossible.
Turning to the issue of the Beirut port explosion, Nasrallah called on the Lebanese Army to declare the results of the “technical probe” in order to put an end to any speculation or accusations against Hizbullah.
“I call on authorities to declare whether there were any missiles or weapons at the port,” Hizbullah’s leader said, adding that claims linking his party to tons of ammonium nitrate blamed for the blast are mere lies.
As for the incidents on the Lebanese-Israeli border that followed Israel’s killing of a Hizbullah member in a Syria airstrike, Nasrallah said his group is “committed to an equation.”
“Our objective is not revenge but punishment and to establish a balance of deterrence,” he said.
“Israel, on its own, mobilized its forces and upped its measures on the Lebanese and Syrian borders… It is now sending remote control vehicles carrying dummies” to give us targets to hit, he added.
“Whenever Israel suspects any movement, it starts bombing the vicinity of its positions, and this reflects panic,” he said.
“Everything that has happened since our brother’s martyrdom is part of the punishment,” Nasrallah went on to say.
He added: “Let the Israelis understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill one of their soldiers.”
“We did not respond to the Israeli shelling days ago because that was what the Israelis wanted,” Nasralllah said.
Noting that Hizbullah is “not in a hurry” to respond to the killing of its fighter, and that it is awaiting the right circumstances on the ground, Hizbullah’s leader pointed out that Israeli soldiers currently in hiding “will eventually appear on the roads.”
Nasrallah to Israel: Your soldiers will eventually appear on the roads.
Nasrallah: We are not in a hurry to respond to Israel.
Nasrallah: We did not respond to the Israeli shelling days ago because that was what the Israelis wanted.
Nasrallah: The Israelis know that we are not seeking an achievement in the media.
Nasrallah: Let the Israelis understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill one of their soldiers.
Nasrallah: Everything that has happened since our brother’s martyrdom is part of the punishment.
Nasrallah: Whenever Israel suspects any movement, it starts bombing the vicinity of its positions, and this reflects panic.
Nasrallah: Israel, on its own, mobilized its forces and upped its measures on the Lebanese and Syrian borders… It is now sending remote control vehicles carrying dummies to give us targets to hit.
Nasrallah on Israel’s killing of Hizbullah member in Syria: We’re committed to an equation and our objective is not revenge but punishment and to establish a balance of deterrence.
Nasrallah described the Hizbullah-AMAL clash in the southern town of Loubieh as regrettable and isolated.
Nasrallah: We stress the depth of the relation between Hizbullah and the AMAL Movement.
Nasrallah: We must be cautious because there is an attempt to reproduce Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
Nasrallah: Claims that Hizbullah is linked to the ammonium nitrate are lies.
Nasrallah: We call on the Lebanese Army to declare the results of the probe.
Nasrallah: I call on authorities to declare whether there were any missiles or weapons at the port.
Nasrallah: I call on authorities to declare the results of the technical probe.
Nasrallah: We stress that the judiciary should firmly follow up on the port blast. The blood of martyrs should not go in vain.
Nasrallah: Compensations should be paid to the people so that they can return to their homes.
Nasrallah: Had the presidents of Iran or Syria called for a new political contract in Lebanon, would would have happened? There is a problem in the Lebanese political culture.
Nasrallah: Years ago, I mentioned a constituent assembly to improve the Taef Accord and we remember the reactions that occurred.
Nasrallah: The French president called for a new political contract in Lebanon during his recent visit… We are open to any calm discussions in this regard, but we have a condition, that the discussions should enjoy the consensus of all components.
Nasrallah: Who says that the Lebanese people want a neutral, technocrat or political government?
Nasrallah: We can claim that we are the biggest political party in Lebanon with the biggest number of supporters, but we do not claim that we represent the entire Lebanese people.
Nasrallah: Are protests and street presence the criterion for reflecting popular demands? Shall we organize a referendum?
Nasrallah: International calls for meeting the demands of the Lebanese people are excellent.
Nasrallah: We will cooperate to pull the country out of any governmental vacuum.
Nasrallah: We hope parliamentary blocs will be able to name a premier-designate tomorrow.
Nasrallah: Claims that Hizbullah is impeding reforms are lies.
Nasrallah: We are pinning hope on the coming hours. We need a government that can achieve reforms.
Nasrallah on Netanyahu’s stance rejecting the sale of F-35s to the UAE: Israel does not trust the UAE or any other nation in the region.
Nasrallah on UAE-Israeli deal: Any such agreement is treason.
Nasrallah: We condemn all attempts to acknowledge Israel and all forms of normalization with this enemy. We renew our condemnation of the stance of the officials in the UAE.
Nasrallah: The same as we triumphed over the past years, the same as those in Yemen, Syria and Iran have triumphed, we believe that there will be coming victories in the future.
Nasrallah: The U.S. is interfering in Iraq and imposing a siege on Iran.
Nasrallah: The U.S. is imposing an unjust siege on Syria and occupying Syrian territory. The U.S. backs tyrant regimes in our region, such as in Bahrain.
Nasrallah: There is a U.S. aggression against our region, manifested in the U.S. policies towards occupied Palestine and the war in Yemen.
Nasrallah: The U.S. administration wants to practice hegemony and impose governments on peoples.
Nasrallah: We in Hizbullah, in the Islamic resistance in Lebanon, stress our firm commitment to rejecting this usurping entity (Israel), even if the entire world acknowledges its existence. We will continue to stand by anyone who fights it.
Nasrallah: I will tackle the regional situation, the Lebanese situation and the situation on the border.
Nasrallah: This year, the Ashura day is sadder, because the squares are empty due to coronavirus.