MIDDLE EAST

Is Lebanon responsible for Hezbollah?

We are looking at the dawn of a new approach today. There is clear decisiveness to confront Sunni and Shiite groups that wreak havoc and resort to sabotage to fulfill their dubious objectives.

The Arab Islamic American Summit has ended all doubts and there appears to be a renewed determination to confront the Khomeini policies as well as al-Qaeda, ISIS and all terror groups.

One of the results of this historic visit of the US President to Riyadh was the unified designation of certain figures as terrorists. This was done with the blessings of US President Donald Trump and King Salman.

Hashem Safieddine, the head of the executive council of the Khomeini Hezbollah Party in Lebanon, was among those designated. Of course Hezbollah, which is accused of facilitating and planning evil acts and strife in Syria and other countries, was angered by the move and said threats were made at fighting fronts and not at conferences.

After returning from Riyadh and following the summit a statement was issued which included condemnation of Hezbollah and other banned organizations. Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese president’s son-in-law, said the Lebanese delegation was not aware of the statement’s content prior to it being published.

He added that Lebanon continues to dissociate itself from conflicts. Of course this is what he deludes himself into believing. This is his attempt to satisfy the party.

However, the Shiite groups Amal and Hezbollah disapproved of the summit’s statement. They inquired why Bassil hasn’t responded to the several statements made from the podium of the summit that opposes Hezbollah.

There are Lebanese delegations in the US that promote the idea that Hezbollah must not be a priority and that what’s more important is to first confront ISIS in Syria. But when will this happen?

Mashari Althayidi

Designated terror group

Hezbollah was designated as a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia, the US, some Gulf, Arab and European countries. But that is not it. There is also the plan to impose financial sanctions against it. Perhaps there will also be sanctions to punish Lebanon’s banking sector if Hezbollah and its finances are not isolated.

This last measure is controversial as some Lebanese bankers and politicians argue that many “innocent citizens” have nothing to do with what Hezbollah does.

This is true. We know that many Lebanese people are against Hezbollah and its adventures and oppose taking the country hostage. However, Hezbollah is part of the government and parliament, and the Lebanese government is part of the international system and its legal agreements.

There are Lebanese delegations in the US that promote the idea that Hezbollah must not be a priority and that what’s more important is to first confront ISIS in Syria. But when will this happen? They also claim Lebanon has nothing to do with Hezbollah’s policies and weapons – so where is Hezbollah present? Is it in another planet?

What is stranger than all that is repeating claims that the sanctions to be imposed on Hezbollah and Iran are “sanctions designed by Israel which requested its representatives in the Congress to approve them.” This is what journalist and writer Jihad al-Khazen said recently.

Some Arab, Gulf and European countries have imposed sanctions on Hezbollah so have they all done so to please the Zionists? Anyway, it is time to confront and not procrastinate. After all, Lebanon is a respectable ancient country.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 May 2017 KSA 16:10 - GMT 13:10
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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