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Apr 26, 2020
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Lebanese Druze Leader Walid Jumblatt: We Say “No” to Becoming Like Syria, Iraq; We Reject Iranian Influence

#7966 | 02:08
Source: Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, the President of the Progressive Socialist Party, said in an April 26, 2020 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement are trying to build a new Lebanon that will be a Syrian province or a joint Syrian-Iranian province. He said that he and his movement oppose this peacefully and democratically, that Lebanon can be restored to glory if it engages in a calm dialogue with the IMF, and that Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah wants to direct Lebanon towards the "axis" of China and Iran. Jumblatt added: "We say 'no' to becoming like Syria and Iraq... If we could only be like China."

Walid Jumblatt: "The powerful two-headed coalition – the Free Patriotic Movement and, behind it, Hizbullah – are the basis (for everything). This coalition is in the government and it is the cornerstone for building a new Lebanon. On the centennial anniversary of the State of Greater Lebanon... In a few months, we will mark 100 years since the establishment of Greater Lebanon and there will be a new Lebanon that will be a Syrian province. Perhaps it will be a joint Syrian-Iranian province. This is something that we oppose and therefore, we will fight it peacefully and democratically. This is legitimate. They should at least allow us to exercise our peaceful and democratic rights.

[...]

"We can restore Lebanon. The Lebanese state is rich, but it has been plundered. The state’s property used to be great and we can restore Lebanon if we engage in a calm dialogue with the IMF over our terms."

Interviewer: "But Hizbullah rejects this."

Jumblatt: "This means that Hizbullah wants to nationalize Lebanon in its own way."

Interviewer: "No, they want to direct Lebanon towards the axis of China and... Nasrallah said so. The axis of China and iran... They want Lebanon to be like Syria and Iraq. Why not..."

Jumblatt: "Why not, you say? So they should allow me, although they are not accustomed to this... They want to write us off? Fine. We will say 'no' to this. We say 'no' to becoming like Syria and Iraq. China is different. If only we could be like China. If only... But the model of Syria, Iraq and Iran is a failure."

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