Strong Lebanon Says Bou Saab, Gharib Have Not Breached Govt. 'Solidarity'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Free Patriotic Movement-led Strong Lebanon bloc stressed Tuesday that the latest actions of the ministers Elias Bou Saab and Saleh al-Gharib have not violated the principle of “solidarity” among the government's members.
“All the talk about the violation of governmental solidarity is baseless and Minister Bou Saab's remarks at the Munich conference were based on the international law and Arab and international consensus,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan said after the bloc's weekly meeting.
“He was congratulated on his approach and we reassure that his remarks were not a violation of the ministerial Policy Statement,” Kanaan added.
Defense Minister Bou Saab had announced Friday at an international security conference in Munich that “any Turkish presence on Syrian territory without the Syrian state's approval is unwelcome, illegitimate and is considered an occupation.”
Turning to the Syria visit by Gharib, the new State Minister for Refugee Affairs, Kanaan said: “We are keen on governmental solidarity and everything that is happening is in the country's interest.”
“The issue of Syrian refugees should not be subject to polarization and President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri were put in the picture of Gharib's visit to Syria before and after it happened,” Kanaan added.
“We don't want discrepancies and disputes regarding the government and its productivity,” he said.
Gharib had visited Syria on Monday at an official invitation from the Syrian side. He told reporters that Hariri was "in the picture" of the visit, a claim categorically denied on Tuesday by sources close to the premier.
The issues of restoring full ties with Damascus and the repatriation of Syrian refugees are highly controversial in Lebanon.