Hezbollah Apologizes for Insulting Presidents Gemayel, Aoun

Saturday, 16 February, 2019 - 07:45
Beirut- Asharq Al-Awsat

During Friday’s Parliament sessions to discuss the ministerial statement ahead of granting the new government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri a vote of confidence, Hezbollah apologized for insults launched by one of the party’s deputies against late President Bashir Gemayel and President Michel Aoun.

"The words uttered (Wednesday) stemmed from instant personal reaction by one of our brothers, and they exceeded the limits set for our usual rhetoric. I apologize and ask, on behalf of the bloc Loyalty to Resistance that these words be crossed off the minutes of the session,” said the head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc, MP Mohammad Raad, during Friday’s Parliament session.

On Wednesday, after MP Sami Gemayel recalled a statement made earlier by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil who spoke about Hezbollah’s role in bringing Michel Aoun to the presidential seat, he was interrupted by Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Moussawi, who said “it honors the Lebanese that President Michel Aoun was elected through the rifle of the resistance while others reached the presidency on an Israeli tank,” hinting to former late President Bashir Gemayel.

Moussawi’s words dominated the political scene in Lebanon during the past days, and it prompted the three main Christian blocs in Parliament, the Phalange Party, the Lebanese Forces, and the Free Patriotic Movement to call for an urgent meeting and ask for Hezbollah to fix its mistake.

LF MP George Adwan said he made the initiative to cool tension between the concerned parties after contacting both Bassil and Gemayel and calling on them to meet.

The insults had also affected Hezbollah’s ally Michel Aoun, prompting FPM deputy Alain Aoun to respond during Friday’s parliament session.

“President Aoun has reached the helm of presidency through a political agreement, thanks jointly to Hezbollah, the LF, the Mustqbal Movement, and the Progressive Socialist Party,” he said.

Later, both Hezbollah’s allies and opponents welcomed Raad’s apology.

Bashir’s son, MP Nadim Gemayel said in a tweet: "If apologizing for a mistake is a virtue, recognizing the martyrs of each other is a sign of patriotism... After today, we must not disagree on the truth... Bashir was the dream of the people and the martyr of the republic."

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