Bassil Vows to Continue Botched Mt. Lebanon Visit
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Tuesday promised to continue a botched visit to the Chouf and Aley districts which was marred by a deadly incident in the town of Qabrshmoun.
“We regret what happened in Mt. Lebanon and we regret the time we wasted until we scored a victory for the approach of the state,” Bassil said after the weekly meeting of the Strong Lebanon bloc.
“The judicial course will continue and we want justice, equality and the approach of the law, and we have all offered sacrifices due to the country’s situation,” Bassil added.
“We will make a second visit to Mount Lebanon and we insist on continuing the visit that was cut short to Chouf and Khalde with a spirit of love and partnership,” Bassil went on to say.
Supporters of the Progressive Socialist Party had blocked roads during Bassil’s recent visit to the Aley and Chouf districts to prevent him from touring the region.
The road-blocking protests later escalated into an armed clash between PSP supporters and the bodyguards of State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh al-Gharib whose convoy was passing in the town of Qabrshmoun, which left two bodyguards dead and two other people wounded.
The incident forced Bassil to cut short his tour.
Separately, the FPM chief called for an “economic state of emergency” and an “economic dialogue table that would be binding for everyone.”
“We cannot approach the 2020 state budget in the same way the 2019 budget was approached,” he warned.
As for the upcoming administrative appointments, Bassil said: “Our choice is clear on a comprehensive civil state and until the realization of this choice, we will not give up full parity (between Christians and Muslims).”