‘Only the state has legitimate arms:’ Lebanon’s PM Salam


The only party that should possess arms in Lebanon is the state, newly-named Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam said in an interview with Al Arabiya, his first television interview as prime minister.

“Arms within the country, everyone doesn’t want them. The only arms that should be in the country in my opinion are the legitimate arms, arms held by the state,” Tammam said.

“The state is what decides on issues of the people, public matters, disputes and all what has to do with security. Any other weapon lacks legitimacy and is against the state,” he added.

The Lebanese Hezbollah group has a powerful army inside Lebanon and is equipped with heavy weaponry supplied by Iran and the Assad’s regime in Syria.

Lebanese factions opposed to Hezbollah as well as Western powers have regularly called for disarming the group. The guerrilla group is often accused of running a state within a state and of facilitating foreign intervention in Lebanon.
Hezbollah, however, says its army and weapons are meant to defend the country against Israel in the south because the state’s army is incapable of doing so.

Salam came to office amid heightened political tension in Lebanon. He won all almost all votes in the parliament and hopes to bridge the divide between the U.S. and Saudi-backed opposition and the Syria and Tehran-backed Hezbollah.

(Source / 07.04.2013)

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