Ashton Reiterates Calls for Disassociation Policy towards Syrian Conflictإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed on Wednesday the EU's support to the judicial system in holding accountable “all who resort to violence in Lebanon,” urging political factions to abide by the policy of disassociation towards Syria's conflict.
"I extend my deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, to the armed forces and to all those who have suffered from violence during the clashes in (the southern city of) Sidon,” Ashton said in a released statement.
She added: “The EU reiterates its commitment to Lebanon's peace, unity, sovereignty and independence and the union strongly supports all national institutions in their efforts to preserve peace and security.”
“The EU also supports the judiciary in combating impunity and holding to account all those who resort to violence.”
The European diplomat recalled EU's support for Lebanon's policy of dissociation towards the neighboring country's conflict, urging “all the parties to show restraint and fully abide by the commitments made in the Baabda Declaration.”
“My support goes to all those working to de-escalate tensions through dialogue and peaceful means,” Ashton expressed.
At least 16 soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in the clashes with the armed supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir in Sidon between Sunday and Monday.
More than 20 of al-Asir's supporters were killed, according to a security official.
Dozens of them were also arrested, but there was no sign of the cleric.
The clashes in the southern city are one of the most intense bouts of violence in Lebanon linked to the conflict in Syria.