Charbel Warns Lebanon’s Security Could Remain Fragile over Syria Turmoilإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel warned that the situation in Lebanon could remain fragile as long as Syria is engulfed in violence but stressed that Lebanese security forces are exerting all efforts to preserve stability.
In remarks to several Beirut newspapers published Wednesday, Charbel said: “Anything could take place at the security level in Lebanon as long as the situation in Syria is volatile and as long as there is lack of internal consensus.”
But the minister showed some sign of optimism, saying “the security forces are exerting their utmost efforts to preserve an acceptable level of stability.”
He called for a “political armor” to prevent security incidents in different areas from spiraling out of control. “This is what the national dialogue should do to resolve our weak points,” the minister said about the all-party talks that were held at Baabda palace last week.
The Lebanese leaders are scheduled to meet again under President Michel Suleiman next Monday to discuss the country's defense strategy and the proliferation of arms in cities and towns.
But “the priority is to preserve the country and protect it from the danger of collapse,” Charbel told the newspapers, saying "it's not the appropriate time to discuss Hizbullah's arms."
On the closure of the Beirut airport road by the families of the 11 Shiite Lebanese pilgrims who were kidnapped in the northern province of Syria by armed men last month, the minister said: “The situation is delicate and we fear that (security forces might resort to) opening the road by force … and that the situation would develop to levels that we reject.”
The contacts with the Turkish authorities are ongoing to guarantee the safe return of the 11 men, he said after reports that they were being held by Syrian rebels in an area close to the Turkish border.