Geagea Says Monday Unrest Unacceptable despite His 'Respect' for Berri

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea rejected Tuesday the unrest that accompanied AMAL Movement's protests on Monday, while stressing that he respects the movement's leader Speaker Nabih Berri.

“We in the LF party cannot at all ignore or remain silent over what happened yesterday on the streets of Beirut and Metn. Our appreciation of Speaker Nabih Berri is very well-known, but this is something and tampering with public order and Lebanon's stability and security is something else,” Geagea said in a communique.

“Regardless of our opinion or evaluation of Minister (Jebran) Bassil's remarks, and regardless of our relation with Speaker Berri and our appreciation for him, we cannot accept what happened yesterday, because it was a blatant violation of the principle and presence of the State,” Geagea added.

Accordingly, the LF leader called on judicial and security authorities to address Monday's incidents in a “fair and sound manner” that reflects the presence of a “real state.”

“They must take all the necessary measures to prevent the repeat of the violation of security and stability upon every event or political crisis” in the country, Geagea added.

He also noted that “the approach of wisdom in Lebanon has managed to spare the country the wars that the region witnessed and is still witnessing, and preserving this approach represents the main gateway for overcoming any crisis.”

“Experience has taught everyone that stability is a common interest and that crises do not spare anyone,” the LF leader went on to say.

Monday's unrest across several Lebanese regions was sparked by the emergence of a video showing Bassil calling Berri a "thug" during a closed meeting in Batroun.

The leaked video which emerged Sunday comes amid an escalating dispute between Berri and President Michel Aoun over a decree granting one-year's seniority to a number of army officers.

Bassil is Aoun's son-in-law and heads his Free Patriotic Movement party. The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil. Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil described Bassil in a tweet as "lowly" and a "political dwarf."

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