Lebanese President: we are ready to fight Israel

10:40, March 09, 2010      

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Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said on Monday that Lebanon is ready to defend itself in case of war with Israel.

Suleiman told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published on Monday, that the role of the resistance comes "after the occupation or if the Lebanese army failed to do its duties, or if it withdrew under pressure."

"It is known that when any country is subject to external aggression, efforts will combine at human, national, diplomatic, military and economic levels and everyone will get involved in his own way," he added.

Suleiman stressed that the possibilities of war with Israel are "real". But he warned the Jewish state that Lebanon is not weak anymore, and that in case of war "we are ready to defend our country and all the people will resist the enemy and support the army."

Suleiman's comments came one day before a national dialogue session aimed at reaching a national defense strategy which can find a solution for the weapons of the Shiite armed group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah, which fought a devastating war against Israel in 2006, is the only Lebanese faction which kept its heavy arms, under the pretext of resisting Israel. They have vowed to keep their arms as long as Israel poses a threat in the region.

The first round of the national dialogue was held in September 2008 in line with the Doha accord signed by rival Lebanese leaders on May 21 in Qatar, which put an end to a 18-month-long political standoff that dragged the country to the brink of war.

The Doha accord was reached following a week of fierce clashes in Beirut between pro-government supporters and the Hezbollah-led opposition.

The last national dialogue session was held on June 1 ahead of the parliamentary elections.

Source: Xinhua
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