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Lebanese Christian leader calls for Hezbollah’s grip on country to end

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MAARAB, Lebanon (AFP) — Lebanon’s hijacked sovereignty must be restored after an election denied the powerful Shiite terror group Hezbollah a parliamentary majority, said Christian leader Samir Geagea.

“All strategic decision-making should return to the Lebanese state… and security and military matters should be handled exclusively by the Lebanese army,” the head of the Lebanese Forces party told AFP.

“No one… should be able to transport missiles from one place to another without the permission and knowledge of the military,” the 69-year-old added, referring to Hezbollah.

Geagea’s campaign for the May 15 election centered mainly on disarming Hezbollah, cementing his role as the movement’s staunchest domestic rival.

The Iran-backed Shiite group, which held a majority in the outgoing parliament together with its allies, is the only militia to have not disarmed after the end of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war.

Hezbollah, whose arsenal outguns the army’s, is described by its supporters as a bulwark against enemy Israel, but it is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the US and other Western countries.

Detractors argue it undermines the state’s decisions on security and exposes Lebanon to costly disputes, with Hezbollah deploying combatants and weapons across the region.

“No one should be allowed to use their weapons inside the country,” said Geagea, who rose to........

© The Times of Israel

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