Party chief of the Lebanese Forces (LF) Samir Geagea said on Sunday that the solution to cease hostilities in southern Lebanon lies in “the implementation of Resolution 1701 and Hezbollah’s withdrawal from the border area.”

He emphasized his stance to the Papal Ambassador to Lebanon, Paolo Borgia, whom he received in Maarab.

Geagea stressed that only Hezbollah’s withdrawal from the southern border would allow the Lebanese Army, in cooperation with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL,) “to fully assume its security and protection, as it is the only legitimate force representing the Lebanese state.”

Regarding the presidency, he affirmed that “the axis of resistance is still obstructing the presidential election.” He explained that the opposition candidate, former minister Jihad Azour, “clearly outperformed Hezbollah’s candidate (Marada leader Sleiman Frangieh) during the last parliamentary election session,” adding that “if Hezbollah and its allies had not disrupted the session by breaking quorum, a President of the Republic would have been elected.”

The LF party chief said that the sovereignist team was “ready to consider the option of a third candidate, provided that he is a serious and independent figure who can be an actual president and not just an image.”

However, he emphasized that “Hezbollah does not even want this option and is still holding on to its candidate, insisting on obstructing the presidential election unless the next president of the republic was aligned with it.”

On another note, regarding the war in Gaza, he emphasized the importance of a two-state solution to resolve the war between Israel and the Palestinians.

The papal ambassador also presented Geagea with a medal of Divine Mercy issued by Pope Francis and bearing the logo of the Holy See.