Lebanese FM: Our partnership with Hezbollah helps stability

Lebanese Foreign Minister defends alliance with Hezbollah, says it has helped Lebanon gain internal stability and maintain national unity.

Elad Benari ,

Gebran Bassil
Gebran Bassil

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said in a recent interview on Euronews TV in France that while the Lebanese government's partnership with Hezbollah has taken a toll on Lebanon's relations with the West, it has helped Lebanon gain internal stability and maintain national unity.

Bassil explained that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's political landscape and that it is not just an armed militia, and added that the Lebanese government cannot consider the roughly 33% of Lebanese people who support Hezbollah to be terrorists.

He continued to explain that Lebanon's relationship with Hezbollah helps protect Lebanon from foreign attacks and from terrorism, and that the only alternative to this partnership would be a civil war.

The interview, which aired on August 5, 2019, was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Hezbollah has a strong political presence in Lebanon, and gained more than half the seats of the 128-member Lebanese parliament in the election which took place in May of 2018.

In the newly formed Lebanese cabinet, which was announced earlier this year, Hezbollah has named a health minister and two other posts.

Despite this, however, Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the US, which has sanctioned the group.

Last month, the US placed two Hezbollah members of Lebanon's parliament on its sanctions blacklist, marking the first time Washington has taken aim at the Iran-allied group's elected politicians.