Hezbollah adopts new manifesto

Nov. 19, 2009 at 12:05 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Hezbollah announced Thursday it has drafted a new political document outlining the nature of the resistance, its second such measure since 1985.

Hezbollah published an open letter to "the oppressed in Lebanon and the world" in 1985 explaining its intent on establishing an Islamic regime in Lebanon, ending the "colonialist entity" and bringing justice to Phalangists (Maronite Christians) for their "crimes."

Hezbollah's al-Manar news agency said the Shiite resistance endorsed modifications Thursday "that match with the nature of the new development in Hezbollah's structure as well as its path during the last few years."

The Shiite party has moved into the political landscape in Lebanon, winning two Cabinet positions in a new government announced earlier this month.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is expected to hold a news conference in the coming days outlining the details of the new political document.

Lawmakers in Beirut are wrestling with the issues of Hezbollah's weapons. The movement is obligated under the terms of a 2006 cease-fire with Israel to abandon its weapons, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged the group to integrate fully into the political scene.

Opposition leaders, however, say armed resistance should continue so long as the threat from Israel persists.

Apart from the political document, Hezbollah reappointed Nasrallah as secretary-general and elected six ministers to its Shura council, including Mohammad Raad, who leads to Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc.

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