Daily Israel Report

GeaGea Repeats Demand for Hizbullah to Disarm

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea warns Hizbullah: Make a "historic" deal to disarm before Syria's president is toppled from power.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/19/2012, 2:05 PM

Lebanese Forces party leader Samir Geagea warned the Hizbullah terrorist organization this week that it is better to make a "historic" deal to disarm before Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is toppled from power, than to wait till he falls.

The Lebanese Forces are a former militia headed by GeaGea during the Lebanese civil war that disbanded under his command and transformed itself into a legitimate political party.

Syria's growing civil war is making it inevitable that the president will be deposed at some point, GeaGea said.

The Lebanese leader, who said the Assad regime's collapse is "just a matter of time, nothing else," made the observation during an interview published Thursday in Beirut's Arabic-language As-Safir newspaper.

"The situation in Syria is getting more complicated," Geagea pointed out. "The regime... will inevitably fall because it has become weak and lacks internal, Arab and international legitimacy."

Geagea called on Hizbullah to consider disarming itself, and to change its domestic direction, given the current circumstances. The terrorist organization is generously backed by Syria and Iran. "I believe that it is in Hizbullah's best interest to quickly begin repositioning itself internally," he told the newspaper.

"If I were in their shoes... I would take an immediate and brave step -- which could be difficult," he admitted, "but is nevertheless necessary, to engage in serious and direct negotiations with the main [Lebanese] parties... so as to reach a historic compromise on arms and all other pending issues -- because we must admit that Lebanon cannot continue to exist without the Shi'ites."