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Media Bickering Shakes Aoun-Nasrallah Alliance

Media Bickering Shakes Aoun-Nasrallah Alliance

Saturday, 27 January, 2018 - 08:45
Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil speaks during a press conference. (AFP Photo/John MacDougall)

A 12-year strategic alliance between President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and Hassan Nasrallah’s “Hezbollah” is under threat.

Counter-accusations on social media websites reached their climax on Friday when the two sides exchanged insults, all the way to launching accusations of betrayal.

In an attempt to contain the repercussions of such developments, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, who is Aoun’s son-in-law, said on Friday that the memorandum of understanding between the two parties “will remain a strategic need for the protection of the country,” adding that all “small tricks could not defeat it.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, member of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Ziad Aswad said that Bassil had a new way in managing FPM's affairs.

However, the MP added: “Our alliance with Hezbollah is built on huge objectives, mainly the protection of the country and limiting tension. This understanding had protected the country during past crises.”

A war of words between the two parties emerged lately after FPM-owned OTV television channel criticized Nasrallah’s comments in which the Hezbollah secretary general lashed out at the Lebanese government for allowing cinemas to screen Steven Spielberg’s film “The Post” despite calls for a ban because of the director’s links to Israel.

Observers close to Hezbollah said on Friday that “the current disputes between the two sides remain objective, and would not lead to the collapse of the strategic alliance.”

Separately, a dispute between FPM and Amal movement, Hezbollah’s ally, exploded into a direct war of words between Bassil and Amal’s representative in the government Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

While Bassil stressed on Friday that “partnership would safeguard equality in the country,” Khalil responded by saying that the Constitution remained the nation's prime guarantee.

"The constitution is not a mere point of view, and the law is also not subject to interpretation,” he added.

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