The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon refuses to support a government of which he is not a member

Hassan Nasrallah calls for more dialogue and lowering of French demands on Lebanon
A Hezbollah flag and a poster showing the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   A Hezbollah flag and a poster showing the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, has refused to form part of a government of which his group is not a part, the AFP agency reports on Tuesday. Nasrallah stated that he supports the initiative to form a reformist government in Lebanon as soon as possible, as requested by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to unblock the delivery of international aid. Nonetheless, he called for a review of the tone and demands made on Lebanon and asked for more dialogue. 

"We always praise the French initiative and are ready for dialogue and cooperation with the French and all friends of Lebanon but the way things were done last month, the intimidation...must not continue, otherwise we will not achieve a result", said Hassan Nasrallah during a televised speech. French President Emmanuel Macron had criticised the collective betrayal of the Lebanese political class on Sunday, the day after Prime Minister Mustapha Adib resigned from forming a government of national concentration, as Paris demanded. 

"We do not accept being accused of treason. We reject and categorically condemn this condescending behaviour towards us and all political forces in Lebanon," the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon said on Tuesday night. The Lebanese political parties, including Hezbollah, committed themselves to Macron, who visited Beirut at the beginning of September, to form a cabinet of competent and independent ministers within two weeks as a condition for unblocking the arrival of international aid. The person in charge of this, Mustapha Adib, who was appointed on 31 August, announced his resignation last Saturday. His task was hampered chiefly by the demands of Hezbollah and its ally Amal, who are demanding to take over the ministry of finance.

Netanyahu accuses Hezbollah of having an arms depot 

With negotiations for the formation of the new government still hot, Israel's prime minister, Bejanmin Netayahu, accused Hezbollah on Tuesday of having a secret arsenal of weapons stored near the gas company's headquarters in the capital, Beirut, before warning that an explosion similar to the one that took place in the city on 4 August could occur. 

"We all saw the terrible explosion last month in the port of Beirut", he said during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. "This is where the next explosion could take place," he said before presenting images of the Yana district. The President assured that the place was in a residential area and pointed to the entrance of a missile factory in Hezbollah. "I tell the people of Yan that they must act now, that they must protest, if this explodes, it will be a new tragedy," he said. 

"I say to the people of Lebanon: Israel does not want to harm you, but Iran does. Iran and Hezbollah have deliberately put you and your families in great danger", the Israeli Prime Minister said. The Hezbollah group has denied Netanyahu and has shown that there are no weapons in the warehouse in Beirut.