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News Categories » SECRETARY-GENERAL » Speech-Reports » Reports-2006

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Nasrallah: We will be asking in talks `how do we protect Lebanon?`
Source: Daily Star, 21-03-2006

Hizbullah will be heading to the third round of the national dialogue with one major question for all participants on the round table: "How can we protect Lebanon?"

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah posed the question in a speech during a Shiite religious event Monday. Lebanon "is a small country with a very strong and well-armored enemy state as a neighbor," Nasrallah said. "`Israel` also has very strong support from the international community headed by the U.S."

Participants in the national dialogue, which will kick off Wednesday, will be discussing the resistance`s weapons and the presidential issue.

Nasrallah said: "We will not head to the round table with the notion that we shall never disarm, because that wouldn`t be a dialogue. Nor will we accept that others come to the dialogue with the notion that they will be disarming the resistance, because it wouldn`t be a dialogue. We will go there and discuss evidence and events and hopefully will try to reach a solution that accomplishes the best for Lebanon."

He added: "There never was any talk of a deal being made to keep the resistance`s weapons in exchange for ousting [President Emile] Lahoud."

Nasrallah also said: "I think that the table of discussion should also include socio-economic matters, and not only political ones. I believe that it is important that we try to find a solution to the unemployment problem in the country ... to ask questions such as why the most profitable economic sector, the telecommunications sector, is being privatized."

The Hizbullah chief added that as the dialogue kicks off Wednesday, UN Special Envoy for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen will be arriving in Lebanon on Thursday "to check the results."

Nasrallah also spoke of a state of alarm and emergency in "Israel" where the "Israeli" army is deployed along the Lebanese borders "because in 15 days the "Israeli" parliamentary elections will take place and the "Israelis" have expressed fear that Hizbullah might take offensive action against them."

"We received extensive international calls to see if we were preparing for anything ... we didn`t give anyone assurances that we weren`t going to do anything, and we didn`t tell them that we were going to do something either," Nasrallah said.

"Let them live in fear ... it is a privilege that this strong state which every country in the region fears, is afraid... we will carry our promise to our detainees in "Israel", to Samir Kantar and his friends, that we will never abandon them," he said.

Kantar is the longest-serving Lebanese detainee in "Israeli" prisons.
"The main question is how to protect Lebanon? If you consider "Israel" as an enemy no more, then there is no threat to Lebanon`s sovereignty, security and well being ... But I tell you this: The next war in the region will be over water ... who can give us guarantees that "Israel" wouldn`t be greedy for our water?

"Shibaa farms, which are Lebanese, are rich in water ... we will never abandon our land," he said.
Nasrallah added: "Our region is witnessing increasing tension, even if we isolate ourselves from what is going on around us, the "Israelis" will never leave us alone.

"`Israel` is an army for which a country was built. It is one large army base with all kinds of weapons that you can and can`t imagine from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to the simplest arms ... That is why we ask how can we protect our country? What are the assurances that we can get that "Israel" wouldn`t breach our water, land, and people?

"If the U.S. and British assurances to the Palestinian authority didn`t stand when "Israel" invaded Jericho prison last Tuesday, what will? This invasion happened with a U.S. and British consent," said Nasrallah.

He added: "We are going to the national dialogue table on Wednesday to discuss a national defense strategy on how to protect our country. Disarming the resistance should happen by giving evidence, assurances and results."

04-01-2008 | 12:59

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