Press TV has conducted an interview with Issam Noaman, former Lebanese minister from Beirut, about Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi stressing that relations with the country’s resistance movement Hezbollah play a crucial role in maintaining stability in Lebanon.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Our correspondent was earlier telling us that these remarks are coming from a person who was before this a vocal critic of the Hezbollah resistance movement. So what do you think the remarks by the Justice Minister signify?
Noaman: Yes General Rifi, the Justice Minister used to be a very ardent enemy of Hezbollah and he was even accused by Hezbollah of trying to cover up those so-called witnesses who were fabricating accusations against Hezbollah and against Syria.
But due to changing circumstances which resulted in having a new cabinet in which the Future Movement to whom General Rifi belongs, now is participating in the cabinet.
The Future Movement is participating in the cabinet together with the representatives of Hezbollah, and General Rifi is trying to correct his past record with Hezbollah especially that regional developments may lead sooner or later to sort of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and eventually this will reflect positively on the situation in Lebanon and the so-called Future Movement may come to an agreement with Hezbollah concerning electing a new President of the Republic.
Press TV: So what do you think about the view towards Hezbollah? Do you think that has changed because Hezbollah has a role in maintaining security for Lebanon? What in Hezbollah has created this vision in favor of the group?
Noaman: Yes for sure Hezbollah is a very basic element in establishing security in Lebanon and after the Future Movement did participate in the cabinet, especially by acquiring the two portfolios of Interior Ministry and Minister of Justice, I think they realized well that Hezbollah is a very important element in establishing security and so they are trying now to have good relations with Hezbollah because they know that Hezbollah can positively play a very important role in Lebanon’s nowadays situation.
Press TV: And of course we do know that lawmakers haven’t still decided on the choice for president, but do you think despite all this Lebanon is heading to an era of political stability, at least relative political stability?
Noaman: Well the political stability nowadays is somewhat medium grade, so to speak, because everybody now is trying to have a say in electing a new president before the 25th of May, the date the term of the President Suleiman expires, his term expires on the 25th of May.
And so everybody is trying to be positive and trying to have good relations with the others, that is with other parliamentary blocs in order to achieve this goal but it think it is very, very difficult to elect a new president before the 25th of May.
This will, we will be having what they call in Lebanon a presidential vacuum of the 25th of May. The council of ministers will assume the powers of the president of the Republic.