Naharnet

Aoun Urges 'Forgiveness' between 'Those who Insulted Each Other'

President Michel Aoun on Tuesday described Monday's unrest as a “major mistake sparked by a mistake,” urging “forgiveness” and keenness on “stability, security and national unity.”

“What happened yesterday at the political and security levels harmed everyone and led to lowering the political rhetoric to a level that does not honor the Lebanese,” Aoun said in a written statement.

“What happened on the streets was a major mistake sparked by a mistake. Accordingly, and from my constitutional and fatherlike position, I forgive all those who insulted me and my family, and I also look forward to forgiveness between those who insulted each other,” the president added.

“The country is bigger than everyone, and it is especially bigger than political disputes, which should not descend into personal attacks, especially that forgiveness always comes after an insult,” Aoun went on to say.

He also urged political leaders to “rise to the level of responsibility to confront the several challenges that are surrounding us, most importantly preserving stability, security and national unity.”

Monday's unrest across several Lebanese regions was sparked by the emergence of a leaked video showing Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil – Aoun's son-in-law – calling Speaker Nabih Berri a "thug" during a closed meeting in Batroun.

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

The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil, as supporters of the Speaker's AMAL Movement blocked roads across the country and encircled the FPM's headquarters in Sin el-Fil.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil meanwhile described Bassil in a tweet as "lowly" and a "political dwarf."


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