Zahra: Lebanon under security threat, presidential election not imminent

JANUARY 16, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) MP Antoine Zahra said on Friday that Lebanon was under security threat and that the election of a new president was not forthcoming.

“Lebanon is threatened but it is the State institutions – Army and security forces – that protect citizens, not the Brigades of Resistance and Hezbollah,” he said in an interview with NBN television, noting that the Lebanese Forces were demilitarized by the end of the war, “but they would not hesitate to fulfill their duty if the state collapsed.”

“The proliferation of weapons, the disintegration of the state and the non-border controls are due to the presence of an armed party that does not comply with the state,” he added, before accusing Hezbollah of bringing extremism into Lebanon through its involvement in Syria.

Zahra stressed, however, that the Israeli aggression against the Arab peoples and Palestine were the cause of this extremism, and the situation of Christians in Lebanon – historically known to have fought for their existence – was not to be compared with that of the Christians of Iraq who have fled their homes.

In addition, the Lebanese Forces MP saluted the Lebanese Army, the security forces and Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk for their exploits at the security level, mainly after the operation that took place inside Roumieh prison. However, he noted that such achievements would not have been possible “without the political cover that was provided at the current circumstances.”

Tackling the presidential dossier, Zahra said that the election of a new head of state was not about to happen “because the head of the Change and Reform, General Michel Aoun, considers it his rightful post.”

On a different note, he said that dialogue between the Future Movement and Hezbollah had left a positive impact on the Lebanese scene, although many divisive issues were not yet addressed.