Free Patriotic Movement Head, MP Gibran Bassil, delivered a televised speech in response to the U.S. sanctions against him over corruption and ties with Hezbollah.

In his speech, MP Bassil cited some facts and pressures that the United States exercised on the “Free Patriotic Movement” between the 1990s and 2006, to abandon Hezbollah.

“When General Aoun returned in 2005, after the withdrawal of the Syrian forces, he saw himself surrounded by the Quartet coalition, asking him to enter the coalition to isolate Hezbollah, but he refused. After that, the Mar Michael Agreement was signed in 2006, and then the war broke out on July 12 of the same year, as the United States continued its pressure to some extent to introduce the issue of sanctions,” Bassil said.

“The Americans are calling us to a project in which there is no guarantee that there will be no bloodshed. Talk about sanctions started being raised in earnest in 2018, and I was told at that time that they wanted to lift my immunity to impose sanctions, and all our positions, even with Hezbollah, were related only to the interest of the country,” the MP added.

Bassil criticized the Americans for not addressing the issue of fighting corruption even once from 2005 till today, especially since he asked them to stop helping and supporting the corrupt, and asked: “Why do they not help us with the necessary information to find out the looted money that was transferred abroad.”

“If I accepted to cut ties with Hezbollah, will I still be accused of corruption?” he asked, stressing the need to investigate the causes of these sanctions.

“We disagree with Hezbollah about basic and ideological matters such as peace in the region and the existence of Israel. We have not seen Iran imposing sanctions on us, nor have we seen Hezbollah suppressing us,” Bassil went on.

“The differences are over the issue of the displaced Syrians, the settlement of refugees, the deal of the century, our rights with Israel on land, borders and resources, the issue of justice and peace with Israel, and terrorism,” he added.

Bassil revealed his reaction when the President of the Republic conveyed to him a message from the US requesting him to stop the relationship with Hezbollah immediately, saying: “This issue does not concern me. The Free Patriotic Movement does not take instructions from any foreign country, and our party is not a group of agents. We want friendship with the whole world and the United States at the top.”

“Despite what happened with the American administration, this matter does not affect the relationship with the American people, and we intend to develop relations with the new administration,” Bassil underlined.

Over the government dossier, Bassil said: “We must accelerate the formation of the government and stand firm in the face of those who attack us, not against the inside. We are with the facilitation and we did not set a single condition nor did we stick to any portfolio. All we asked for was the adoption of unified standards for composition. We left matters to the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister to set clear principles and standards. Despite this, we have been falsely accused of obstruction. Our silence to-date aims to allow for the greatest chance of positivity, but our leniency and facilitation will not reach the point of preventing opinion expression which denotes political annulment, and there is no return to the past and its vocabulary.”


Source: National News Agency