Interview with Saad Hariri

Saad Hariri, the Majority Leader of the Lebanese Parliament, and son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was assassinated two years ago, spoke exclusively to RT about the situation in the Middle East.

Russia Today: Are you confident that the Lebanese Army is able to contain the violence in Nahr el-Bared camp or are you concerned that it could spread to other Palestinian refugee camps?

Saad Hariri: Fortunately the Security Forces in Lebanon have managed to control it and also to launch a preemptive strike and have stopped their plan to destabilise Lebanon.

RT: Some of the Palestinians have been saying that it would be in your interest to get rid of the organisations such as Fatah al-Islam because, for example, they are in the way of the future Lebanese-Israeli peace deal. What can you say on that?

S.H.: Fatah al-Islam is an enemy of Saad Hariri and we will fight it to the end. Those people, who are in the refugee camps, are suffering distressful situations.  Some people of the leadership of those groups occupy high positions in Fatah al-Intifada and it is obvious that they need to protect themselves from the notion that Syria is connected to Fatah al-Islam. In reality, there are about 350,000 Palestinians in Lebanon. Our constitution states clearly that we cannot settle the Palestinians in Lebanon and give them citizenship. This is a political tool that certain political parties try to use in Lebanon against the ‘March 14’ saying that we are settling Palestinians in Lebanon. We [March 14 Alliance] firmly believe that the Palestinians should have the right to go back to Palestine.

RT: How do you foresee the Palestinians going back to Israel particularly at the moment, when there is no relationship between your government and the Israeli government? Will that relationship change?

S.H.: We are here not to annihilate people or they are to annihilate us. We will not go, and they will not go. They need to understand that the Arab world exists and the Arab world is seeking ways to piece, while the Israelis are running around. They should also strive for piece. What we are suffering in Lebanon, what Iraq is suffering, or what Russia is suffering in Chechnya is small groups of extremists, which make up 0.01% of the Muslim world. The Muslim world is 1.2 BLN people, and all Muslim extremists in the world are 10,000-20,000 in number. The problem is that there are countries which support them, train them, fund them and harbour them.