Libya Demands Official 'Apology' from Lebanon over Flag Incident
Libyan army spokesman Ahmed al-Mesmari denounced the attack on his country’s flag in Beirut last week when AMAL Movement supporters removed Libyan flags and replaced them with the Movement’s flag, the Saudi Okaz newspaper reported on Tuesday.
“Genuinely, we are very upset about what happened in Beirut. Our brothers in Lebanon, mainly those concerned about the cause of Sadr’s death, should know that the issue is also of concern to the Libyans who were suffering in the past from Muammar Gadhafi," said Mesmari in remarks to the daily.
He added: “They turned the issue into a state issue and tried to exploit it one way or another. We are very upset about that, especially the tearing down of the flag. This flag represents the entire Libyan people. It doesn’t represent Gadhafi, nor does it represent a specific era.”
Demanding an apology from official Lebanon, he added: “Unfortunately, what happened has happened and I hope there will be positive action at the official level from the Lebanese side.”
Libya has boycotted a summit last week in Beirut in protest at the removal of its flag by AMAL Movement supporters who addressed insults to Libya near the summit's venue in protest at the invitation of Libya to the summit.
Tension has surged over the issue.
AMAL accuses the former regime of slain Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of kidnapping its revered founder Imam Moussa al-Sadr during a visit to Libya in 1978.
The case has strained Libyan-Lebanese ties for the past four decades and in recent days the invitation and talk of the possibility of freeing Gadhafi’s son Hannibal from Lebanese prisons have deepened tensions between AMAL and the Free Patriotic Movement.
AMAL and its leader Speaker Nabih Berri argue that the new Libyan authorities have not exerted sufficient efforts to unveil the fate of the movement’s revered founder Imam Moussa al-Sadr, who disappeared in 1978 during a visit to Libya.