Report: Hariri Will Not Participate in Security Meeting on Crisis
A security meeting will be held at Baabda Palace on Monday after a weekend of rare violence that wounded hundreds, amid reports that outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri refuses to take part considering that a political solution best addresses the issue.
President Michel Aoun will head a security meeting at 12:00 noon to be held in the presence of caretaker ministers of defense and interior and heads of security agencies.
Reports said that Aoun has called for the meeting and that Hariri was “unresponsive” for having the Higher Defense Council convene since the eruption of protests on October 17.
Hariri “refuses to participate in the Higher Defense Council meeting because he considers a political solution is required here rather than a security one beginning with the formation of a government that truly takes into consideration the people’s demands.”
Hundreds were wounded in the latest clashes as anti-riot police dispersed stone-throwing protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets in central Beirut.
Unprecedented protests have rocked the country since October 17, with citizens from all religious backgrounds demanding the ouster of a political class viewed as inept, corrupt and responsible for an ever-deepening economic crisis.
For a second night in a row on Sunday, dozens of people started lobbing stones at police behind a metal barricade blocking a road to parliament, crying "revolution, revolution".
Anti-riot forces responded with water canons, rubber bullets and then thick plumes of tear gas that pushed demonstrators back towards a main square.
The Red Cross said more than 145 people were injured, including 45 who needed treatment in hospital.