Geagea describes Hizbullah victory as ‘imaginary’

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Geagea describes Hizbullah victory as ‘imaginary’
‘Lebanon paid a heavy price’

Daily Star staff
Friday, September 15, 2006

BEIRUT: Samir Geagea Thursday dismissed any claims of a Hizbullah victory over Israel as "imaginary," saying Lebanon had paid a heavy price during the recent war. "It is true that the Israelis walked out from the war in a terrible situation," the Lebanese Forces leader said in an interview with an Egyptian television station aired Thursday. "It is also true that the performance of the Hizbullah militants was very good, but Lebanon paid a high price for nothing."

"The feeling of victory is an illusion," he added.

Asked his opinion on international and domestic calls for Hizbullah to be disarmed, Geagea said: "Hizbullah agreed to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which said that Israel and Lebanon should abide by the truce agreement and respect the Blue Line. So why would Hizbullah use its weapons again?"

According to the LF leader, all of the political leaders gathered at a National Dialogue session on June 25 – the day Israeli conscript Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip – had agreed to prevent any incidents that might cause instability along the Blue Line.

Geagea said he hoped the minutes of the dialogue sessions would be made public so the Lebanese people could read their representatives comments during the talks.

In other developments, Nadim Gemayel, the son of the late President-elect Bashir Gemayel, said "the Lebanese don’t want to be the victims of the war of others on our land."

"It is time for the Lebanese Christian leaders to hold a dialogue," he added, during a Mass held at the Sayydet al-Azarieh Church in Achrafieh to commemorate the 24th year since his father’s assassination.

Gemayel also called on President Emile Lahoud to resign, saying his continued presence "marginalized the role of Christians in the country."

The Mass was attended by several leading Christian politicians and religious figures, including Geagea, former President Amin Gemayel and Social Affairs Minister Nayla Mouawad. Dozens of LF and Phalange Party supporters gathered in the churchyard, waving their parties’ flags.

Bashir Gemayel, the youngest child of a family of six children, was born on November 10, 1947, in Bikfaya.

In 1962, he joined the Phalange Party, founded by his father Pierre Gemayel, as a student member. In 1973, he was appointed vice president of the Phalange Party in Achrafieh.

In 1976, he founded the Lebanese Forces and headed its leadership.

After being elected president on August 23, 1982, Bashir was killed along with 23 of his companions in an explosion that targeted the Phalange headquarters in Achrafieh on September 14 of the same year.

Source: The Daily Star