Khalil, Bassil Engage in New War of Words
AMAL Movement Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement, traded new jibes on Thursday, but this time against the backdrop of a conference regarding expatriates voting.
When asked about a joint press conference held on Wednesday between Bassil and Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, Khalil said: “Never heard of it.”
Bassil was quick to reply, MTV television station quoted the minister as saying: “Maybe he has hearing problems.”
It is not the first bickering between the FPM and AMAL.
Relations have been tense between the two parties and deteriorated dramatically after a leaked video early this year showing Bassil – President Michel Aoun's son-in-law calling AMAL head Speaker Nabih Berri a "thug.”
The footage drew the ire of Berri's aides and political allies, who lashed out at Bassil, with Khalil calling the foreign minister “lowly” and a “political dwarf.”
The video also sparked three days of unrest and protests that involved gunfire and sectarianly-charged standoffs between supporters of Aoun and Berri.