Lebanon’s new cabinet has agreed on a policy statement that recognises Hizbullah’s right to use arms against Israel, despite reservations from the Western-backed ruling majority.

The cabinet had already met eight times in an attempt to iron out the clause which refers to the party’s substantial arsenal, with some ministers arguing it undermines the authority of the state.

The clause in question states the right of “Lebanon, its government, its people, its army and its resistance” to liberate all Lebanese territory.

Hizbullah is commonly referred to as the resistance in Lebanon.

Christian members of the majority, including the Phalange Party and Lebanese Forces, argue that group’s arsenal runs counter to UN resolutions.

However Hizbullah, which has two ministers in the new 30-member unity cabinet, has made it clear the group’s right to use weapons against Israel is not up for debate.

The Shiite group, considered a terrorist organisation by Washington, maintains that Israel poses a serious threat and it is necessary to protect the country against future acts of aggression, citing the 2006 war between Israel and southern Lebanon.

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