Saudi foreign minister: Hizbullah must be disarmed for Lebanon to ‘survive and prosper’

by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2017

Lebanon has been “hijacked” by Hizbullah and the only way the nation can flourish is if the terror group disarms, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.

“Lebanon will only survive or prosper if you disarm Hezbollah,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a conference in Italy on Dec. 1. “As long as you have an armed militia, you will not have peace in Lebanon.”

Hizbullah fighters in Syria.

Jubeir, who called the situation in Lebanon “tragic,” accused Iran of fomenting unrest across the Middle East.

“Since 1979, the Iranians have literally got away with murder in our region, and this has to stop,” he said.

Considered a terrorist organization by much of the West, Iran-backed Hizbullah remains the only Lebanese group that did not disarm following the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990

“Hizbullah cannot be neutral,” said Riad Tabbarah, a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. “They have an army, a whole militia, operating in Syria and Iraq. They have advisers in Yemen – and Iran wants a price for this. These are the cards in their hands; they have to be negotiated.”

Basem Shabb, a member of parliament with Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Party, said that “In Lebanon, we cannot conduct our affairs without dealing with Hizbullah. It would be folly to think otherwise.”

Hariri has suspended his resignation, which he announced from Riyadh on Nov. 4, and returned to Beirut after a three-week absence.

Hariri cited Iran’s “grip” on his country through Hizbullah as the main reason for his Nov. 4 announcement.

Hariri has called for Hizbullah to “disassociate” itself from conflicts such as Syria where it has fought alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces. “It is in Lebanon’s interest that these [Hizbullah’s] arms not be used elsewhere,” he said.

In an interview last week with the French magazine Paris Match, Hariri said that the Syrian regime, which he blames for his father Rafik Hariri’s assassination in 2005, also wants him killed.

“I have a lot of enemies, extremists and the Syrian regime. The latter has issued a death sentence against me. They accuse me of interference in their country,” said Hariri.

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