Christmas Tree Lit in Tripoli, Rifi Says Plot to 'Distort City Image' Defeated

A ceremony was held Sunday to light a huge Christmas tree in the northern city of Tripoli, in the presence of several religious, political and social figures.

“This city will preserve its name, image and history, despite all problems,” said Tripoli's Maronite Archbishop Georges Abu Jaoude.

For his part, March 14 General Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soaid said “no matter how much they try and no matter what they say about Tripoli, this tree is the best proof that the city is the city of coexistence.”

“Tripoli is the city of diversity and life and it is stronger than conspiracies. We say no to anyone who wants to turn it into a militarized city,” he added.

Meanwhile, former Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi, who hails from Tripoli, said “we are partners in this society.”

“I'm pleased to confirm that the scheme trying to distort Tripoli's image by depicting it as a city for extremists has been defeated,” said Rifi.

“We are part of this dear country and we join our Christian brothers in their religious feasts to say that we are the sons of one country,” he added.

On Wednesday night, a Christmas tree went up in flames in the city. The municipality said an electric failure triggered the fire after several media outlets said the blaze was “deliberate.”

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.