10/25/2005, 00.00
LEBANON
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Back in Beirut, Geagea says he is in favour of an international tribunal

by Youssef Hourany
Leader of Lebanese Forces talks to AsiaNews about the country's situation. He says he is sceptical about the possibilities that Resolution 1559 will be implemented.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Samir Geagea is in favour of an international tribunal to try the people accused in the assassination of Rafik Hariri; in his opinion, the findings of the Mehlis report are "an important part of the truth".

A day after his low-key return from a three-month stay abroad (following his release from 11 years of hard labour in prison) he was taken under army escort to his home in a Cedars forest overlooking his hometown in northern Lebanon. From here the leader of the Lebanese Forces spoke to AsiaNews about the situation in his country.

Geagea said he was "a bit sceptical" about the possibility of implementing United Nations Resolution 1559, especially when it comes to disarming Palestinian militias. He said he wanted to "play a political role" through the Lebanese Forces, which are no longer an armed militia but a political party with a political plan and its own internal constitution.

In his view, the 1989 Taeff accords, which ended the civil war, remain the only instrument to build a just state.

"Taeff gave concrete life to my political project," he said. "Everyone must believe in the importance of dialogue as a way to Lebanon's rebirth".

Asked about Patriarch Sfeir, Geagea expressed all of his "admiration" for the leader of the Maronite Church, whom he considers "the most important personality who could unify all Christians and Lebanese".

He said he was ready to closely cooperate with his fellow Christian leaders, in particular with General Aoun and former President Amin Gemayel.

Geagea's return just preceded that of Patriarch Sfeir who spent a month in Rome where he participated to the Synod on the Eucharist. Now that they are both home, their presence can give the country a new lease on life.

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