Beirut Holds Solidarity Sit-in as Bassil Joins Paris Anti-Terror March

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Journalists and officials on Sunday joined a solidarity sit-in in downtown Beirut that was scheduled to coincide with a historic anti-terror march in Paris.

Carrying banners expressing support for the victims of the deadly attack on French weekly Charlie Hebdo, foreign ambassadors and Lebanese journalists flocked to the Samir Kassir Square in central Beirut.

The symbolic rally was organized by the Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, which was founded two years after the 2005 assassination of Lebanese journalist and historian Samir Kassir.

Information Minister Ramzi Jreij, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri, EU ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst, lawmakers and March 14 figures were all present at the sit-in.

“All free minds must stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of terrorism,” said Jreij, expressing solidarity with terror-hit France and highlighting the ties of friendship between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil represented Lebanon alongside world leaders in an unprecedented show of solidarity and defiance in Paris for the victims of this week's terrorist attacks in France.

Up to 1.5 million people took part in the massive march, led by French President Francois Hollande and around 50 world leaders.

Hollande thanked the participating foreign officials, including Bassil, and shook hands with them one by one.

“We feel with the French in their grief and agony and we're attending this anti-terror march today with them because France is the international platform for expressing our adherence to the joint human values,” Bassil said in a statement from the French capital.

“We were the first to suffer from terrorism in Lebanon and we defended the entire world through out martyrs. Every other day we have a Charlie – in the Lebanese army, Lebanese media, Lebanese families and every church and mosque,” Bassil added.

Addressing the French people, the minister went on to say: “Our battle is the same. We'll fight it together and we'll win it together.”

He also urged Western countries to show “more decisiveness in order to eradicate these (terrorist) groups militarily and ideologically.”

Representatives of Lebanese political parties and the World Lebanese Cultural Union had held a meeting at the Lebanese embassy in Paris on Friday, during which they condemned “the horrible terrorist massacre” against the French weekly Charlie Hebdo and called for participation in Sunday's Paris demo.

Twelve people were killed in the armed attack on the satirical magazine. Five other people were killed in other attacks on Thursday and Friday.

Y.R.

Comments 14
Thumb justin 11 January 2015, 19:13

wasting tax payers money.... Basil should be with the victims families in Lebanon; the families of the kidnapped soldiers; the families of those who died in the explosions not in Paris.

Thumb ex-fpm 11 January 2015, 19:16

He is a "world" leader;)

Thumb eagledawn 11 January 2015, 19:22

he is a "mini" world leader, LOL.

Thumb thefool 11 January 2015, 19:28

and Netanyahu went to "really" show support with France. Not for the elections in Israel soon, especially after calling European Jews that they are welcome in Israel because they are being targeted.

It is the least I should expect from our Minister of Foreign Affairs. I would have preferred the President to go, but... We don't have one.

#JeSuisCharlie

Missing incorruptible 11 January 2015, 19:53

Isn't he minister of Foreign Affairs? Because if he is, he's doing his job. Just clarifying.

Thumb liberty 11 January 2015, 20:06

When Lebanese territories are attacked by Assad's army, it is also the job of the minister of Foreign Affairs to file a complaint to the U.N. Just clarifying...

Thumb liberty 11 January 2015, 20:26

hello @popeye:) I heard you have been doing great with the Bebop Drone? Are you using the Skycontroller? I just bought mine and been on a couple of training sessions at the beach. I already applied for a license.

Thumb popeye 11 January 2015, 20:47

yes, I am enjoying it. Spent part of the holidays at Lake Tahoe and we did a lot of aerial photography with the ice-man. I have the Sky Controller but not the goggles:) Best hobby in the world!

Thumb liberty 11 January 2015, 20:25

What is also Ironic is Nassrallah supported the fatwa of khomeini to assassinate salman rushdi, called for another Istanbouli ( Sadat's assassin) to assassinate Arafat, and another fatwa to assassinate Harriri and Tueni.

Missing humble 11 January 2015, 21:36

I saw him. Our Talleyrand looked like a "midget" ...or even smaller.
sorry if this looks like an insult, but it is NOT, it is a description.

Missing humble 11 January 2015, 22:24

Last time my IQ was 152 and was admitted to

Missing humble 11 January 2015, 22:26

Last time my IQ was 152 and was admitted to MENSA.
The good thing is that my brain is not washed...and will never be.

Missing wonderer 12 January 2015, 03:21

flamethrower I have to apologize, I criticized you the other day when you called the Paris demo "la marche des cons". In my defense I did not know then that Gebran Bassil was going to be there, when obviously you did.

Thumb thepatriot 12 January 2015, 12:02

lol