Fiery Speech of Hezbollah fallout to spare Future-Hezbollah talks
The Daily Star/Feb. 02, 2015
BEIRUT: The Future Movement and Hezbollah will meet for a fifth round of talks Tuesday, the first time they convene after the resistance party chief said the Israeli airstrike in Qunaitra last month has shattered the rules of engagement with Israel.
But it appears that the Future-Hezbollah dialogue will not be affected by the negative impact the fiery speech of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has left within Future Movement circles, Speaker Nabih Berri told his visitors Sunday.
He said dialogue between the two rival groups would carry on undeterred as it was agreed “from day one that problematic issues such as Hezbollah’s arsenal, its intervention in Syria and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will not be tackled.”
According to March 8 sources, Tuesday’s session to be held at Berri’s residence in Ain al-Tineh will pursue discussions on defusing Sunni-Shiite tensions – the main item on the dialogue agenda which also includes finding a mechanism to allow the election of a president, boosting efforts to combat terrorism, promoting a new electoral law and energizing stagnant state institutions.
Berri promised that the Lebanese would see their capital free of any political signage for the Amal Movement, Hezbollah and the Future Movement so as to contribute in minimizing tensions. Berri said the Interior Ministry would carry out the task of removing the signage.
As for reports that the issue of celebratory gunfire in Beirut fired by Hezbollah supporters during Nasrallah’s highly anticipated speech Friday will figure high up on the agenda of talks, one March 8 source that the issue was “problematic for Hezbollah maybe more than the Future Movement.”
“The issue is certainly not an item on the agenda but might be tackled as part of the broader topic of defusing Sunni-Shiite tensions,” the source told The Daily Star, adding that Nasrallah has long pleaded with his supporters to refrain from resorting to celebratory gunfire during his appearances.
The criticism leveled against Nasrallah’s speech the head of the Future parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora was also unlikely to deter the talks.
Siniora condemned over the weekend what he described as brash remarks made by Nasrallah, saying comments concerning the shattered rules of engagement with Israel “are unilateral and hasty and eliminate the will of the Lebanese people who are committed to Resolution 1701.”
“The criticism will not affect dialogue one bit,” the source said.
“Siniora is one of the politicians who are bothered by the ongoing dialogue between Hezbollah and the Future Movement.”
Over the weekend, Future Movement MP Ghazi Youssef said that for the benefit of the Lebanese, dialogue with Hezbollah would not stop after the party targeted an Israeli military convoy in the occupied Shebaa Farms. “This dialogue builds for calm amid all the turmoil the region is witnessing,” he added.
The dialogue between Hezbollah and the Future Movement, whose strained ties have heightened sectarian and political tensions and sometimes put the country on edge, has won support from rival politicians, as well as from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, the U.S. and the European Union.