Naharnet

Arslan Warns of Syrian Turmoil Spilling over into Lebanon, Urges Officials to Safeguard Country

Lebanese Democratic Party leader MP Talal Arslan warned on Saturday from the negative impacts of the developments in Syria on the local situation, calling on officials to abide by the disassociation policy that was adopted by the government.

“We are not abiding by the disassociation policy... Our border (with Syria) isn't under the state's control and the arms are being smuggled into Syria,” Arslan told reporters in a press conference.

He pointed out that the Lebanese can't affect the situation in Syria but the “developments in the neighboring country could have a strong impact on us,” the Druze leader said.

Lebanese parties are sharply divided over the crisis in Syria as the March 8 alliance continuously expresses its support to Syrian president Bashar Assad, while the March 14 camp voices its support for the popular revolt.

The international community and analysts have expressed fears that the conflict in Syria may spill over into the Lebanon.

Concerning the political crisis in the country that reached a standstill, Arslan said that the problem is in the “deficient system... We are all responsible for the local situation and the country's security.”

He stressed that he doesn't oppose a government change, pointing out that the rival parties have to hold talks to agree on the formation of a new cabinet, warning of a political void.

The assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan on October 19 deepened the gap between the March 14 and the March 8 coalitions.

The opposition is demanding the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Miqati to step down before engaging in any political activity.


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