On the eve of an expected mass rally at the Martyrs Square to commemorate the March 14 anniversary, the March 14 forces endorsed Thursday a political document after a broad meeting at the Bristol Hotel in Beirut, which was attended by the coalition's leaders, MPs, politicians and activists.
"The pro-independence movement had extended its hand to the other camp in a bid to bring everyone under the State's wings, but the other parties, mainly Hizbullah, staged their coup after refusing to acknowledge the end of Syria's tutelage," March 14 forces said in the document, whose clauses were recited by MP Marwan Hamade after the meeting.Full Story
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri stressed on Thursday that arms that are directed against what is just will fail as was demonstrated in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
He said after a luncheon banquet in the honor of various religious clerics: “Any arms used against the people lose their legitimacy and even state weapons would lose their legitimacy if they do not serve the people and their interests.”Full Story
U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams expressed hope on Thursday that Lebanese officials would continue holding national dialogue sessions under President Michel Suleiman’s endeavor.
“National dialogue could be an important forum for discussing many issues including the national defense strategy,” Williams said after meeting Premier-designate Najib Miqati.Full Story
Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Thursday that the new majority in Lebanon did not prevent the March 14 camp from taking part in the new government.
He said: “We called for partnership from the start and we did not alter this position, but what is left of the March 14 camp rejected this partnership … They eliminated themselves from the new government and they have to assume the responsibility of their choice and not hold the new majority accountable for it.”Full Story
A rights group on Thursday urged Lebanese authorities to probe the disappearance of three Syrian brothers, one of whom was detained while distributing flyers calling for democratic change in Syria.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Jassem Merhi Jassem was picked up by military intelligence agents in Beirut along with five other members of his family on February 23 and 24 after they were seen handing out the flyers.Full Story
Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud has asked Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi to take “suitable measures” with regard to the travel of Intelligence Bureau chief Col. Wissam Hassan to Egypt.
Baroud told Rifi on Wednesday that such measures would clarify the extent to which various regulations were being respected.Full Story
Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri has said that the March 14 forces want a country “that does not differentiate between the Lebanese.”
During a meeting with delegations from the "Future Youth", “Future Women” and Beirut families at Center House, Hariri described the current phase as difficult and complex, but expressed hope to overcome it with the cooperation and support of the Lebanese.Full Story
Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud has said that the judiciary was now in charge of handling the case of three Syrians reportedly abducted in Lebanon.
“The case is currently under the jurisdiction of the prosecutor general, and the probe is led by the military judiciary,” Baroud said in a statement released on Wednesday.Full Story
U.S. officials have reportedly chided Central Bank governor Riyad Salameh for helping Syria escape U.S. sanctions five years ago by transferring billions of dollars to Lebanon.
Al-Akhbar daily said Thursday that the officials told Salameh during his visit to Washington last week that the Central Bank’s move led to a cover up to illegitimate operations carried out by several Lebanese banks, including alleged money laundering.Full Story
March 14 General-Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soaid said a political document that will be issued by the coalition on Thursday stresses the need to put Hizbullah’s arms under the control of legitimate state institutions.
In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio station, Soaid said the document also says that Hizbullah cannot coexist with citizens who abide by rules and regulations.Full Story