National Liberal Party leader Dori Chamoun criticized on Thursday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying: “The Syrian president considers that Lebanon is his backyard, telling us what to do and how to run our country, as if his nation is so great and can be set as an example.”

He made his statements after visiting Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir on the occasion of his birthday accompanied by a March 14 delegation that included former MP Fares Souaid and Elias Atallah.

Chamoun added: “It is true that Prime Minister Saad Hariri visited Syria, and we are thankful for it because it is necessary that ties of respect be set up between two independent countries.”

He continued that Hariri’s trip was part of a tour to regional and western nations, “but this does not prevent the Syrians from understanding that Lebanon is a free and sovereign state.”

Addressing Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat’s recent phone call to former President Emile Lahoud, Chamoun said: “I don’t know if President Lahoud has a powerful eraser, and I don’t think that the Syrians have forgiven Jumblat for his passed statements, but each individual has his own way of conducting work.”

“MP Jumblat’s actions indicate the he has lost his mind,” noted Chamoun.