Lahoud: Israel wants to destroy Lebanon

Oct. 11, 2006 at 2:17 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The president of Lebanon, in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, said that Israel wanted to destroy his country because they are commercial rivals.

"The Israelis themselves said that they want to take Lebanon 20 years back," Emile Lahoud told the daily Al Anbaa. "Lebanon is Israel's chief rival in the field of finance, culture and tourism. And that is why we can see that whenever Lebanon bounces back and begins to make progress, Israel attacks it."

Lahoud also said that he believed Israel had tried to foment a civil war between Hezbollah and other Lebanese, without success.

Lahoud claimed that the war was a failure from Israel's point of view.

"It failed in trying to write off Lebanon's strongest card, meaning the legitimate resistance against the occupation and aggression," he said. "Israel also failed in its attempts to occupy land and dictate its terms to Lebanon."

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