Phalange, National Liberal Youths Declare Syria's Ambassador 'Persona Non Grata'

The Phalange Party and National Liberal Party protesters considered on Saturday that the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali is a “persona non grata,” calling on the diplomat to halt his interference in the Lebanese local affairs.

“If Foreign Minister (Adnan Mansour) won't put an end to your actions we will, you are (declared) as a persona non grata,” Simon Dergham, the head of the students organization in the National Liberal Party said.

He lashed out at the Syrian ambassador, saying: “insulting out institutions and President (Michel Suleiman) is not acceptable.”

The demonstrators chanted slogans against the ambassador, describing him as “ambassador of hatred, criminality, humiliation and dependency.”

“The Syrian hegemony has ended and we refuse to go back,” the protesters said.

The protesters held banners condemning the Syrian regime and demanding the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador amid heavy army troops and riot police deployment near the Syrian embassy in Yarze.

Ali recently sent a letter to the Lebanese Foreign Ministry complaining that the Social Affairs Ministry was involved in helping “extremist Salafist organizations.”

He pointed out that his mission had received complaints from Syrian refugees claiming “extremist Salafist organizations” were demanding that they declare their opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in return for aid through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The ambassador accused the Social Affairs Ministry of being responsible for the pressure exerted on the displaced.

However, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour rejected the Syrian ambassador's accusations, lashing out at Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour for referring the complaint to the cabinet as if “he was adopting them.”

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