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Layoun says new cabinet will “confront STL”

Culture Minister Gaby Layoun –who represents the Free Patriotic Movement –said that the newly-formed cabinet will confront the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) probing the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

“The STL does not seek justice, but is a politicized tool to achieve gains that were neither achieved diplomatically nor through Israeli force,” Layoun said in an exclusive interview with NOW Lebanon published Friday.

The minister added that the new cabinet “will be keen on protecting Hezbollah’s weapons.”

“Hezbollah’s arms must be kept in order to protect Lebanon. When there will no longer be a reason for keeping them, the weapons will be integrated into the Lebanese army.”

In January, the Hezbollah-backed March 8 coalition forced the collapse of Saad Hariri’s government over a long-running dispute about the STL.

There are rumors that the court will indict Hezbollah for the Rafik Hariri murder, a move the party repeatedly warned against.

-NOW Lebanon