Hezbollah protests text of Lebanon-France accord
Hezbollah is demanding the revision of a security accord between France and Lebanon over the definition of the word "terrorism," a party official said on Wednesday.
"We want a text that either clearly defines 'terrorism' as per Lebanese and Arab laws or the omission of the clause that deals with counter-terrorism entirely," Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah told AFP.
"France's definition of terrorism includes Palestinian resistance movements and that clashes with Lebanese law, which is in line with the Arab League's definition," he added.
"Without resolving this matter, the accord will not be passed in parliament."
The 22-member Arab League does not regard "armed struggle against foreign occupation," such as the Palestinian Hamas or Lebanese Hezbollah, as terrorist movements.
Lebanon and France signed the security agreement in Paris on January 21. The accord stipulates the two countries should "boost cooperation" in fighting "terrorism," money laundering, and drugs.
Parliamentarians held talks Tuesday on the agreement, and a number of MPs from an alliance led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah walked out of the session.
Deputy speaker Farid Makari told AFP there was "no opposition to the agreement as a whole," but Hezbollah and its allies had raised the notion that France "views the resistance (Hezbollah) generally as terrorist."
But Hezbollah's pro-Western political rivals were outraged at the Shiite party's demand, with Christian Maronite MP Sami Gemayel slamming the group as "isolationist."
"We cannot ruin Lebanon's relationship with France for the sake of Iran's nuclear ambitions," Samir Geagea, who heads the Maronite Lebanese Forces, told reporters on Tuesday.
© 2010 AFP