UK Voices Concern over Beirut Violence, Backs Salam


British Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said Monday that he was “deeply concerned” by the scenes of “violence and destruction” during the weekend demonstrations in Beirut that left scores of people injured.

“As Prime Minister Salam has said the right to peaceful protest must be protected. There should be a full investigation, accountability and all parties must exercise restraint,” Ellwood said in a statement.

He added that London supports Salam in his efforts to “promote political consensus to enable cabinet to work effectively.”

“Lebanon’s citizens deserve to have basic services they can count on and functioning state institutions. I call on all political parties in Lebanon to act in the national interest, rise above partisan differences and resolve the current political crisis,” he went on to say.

Lebanese activists vowed Monday to press ahead with protests over a trash crisis that has become an outlet for deep-rooted, broad-based frustration over political stagnation, corruption, and crumbling infrastructure.

At a news conference in Beirut, organizers of the "You Stink" campaign called for a new protest on Saturday against Lebanon's "corrupt political class."

Salam later called an "extraordinary" meeting of the fragmented cabinet for Tuesday morning to discuss the "catastrophic" issue of waste disposal.

Thousands of people massed in central Beirut at the weekend to demand not only an end to the rubbish problem, but also a political overhaul and even the government's resignation.

On both Saturday and Sunday, protests that began peacefully descended into violence, with security forces using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets against demonstrators.

On Monday, "You Stink" organizer Marwan Maalouf said the campaign was now fighting for three causes: a resolution to the trash crisis, freedom of expression and police accountability.

Comments 2
Missing humble 24 August 2015, 23:52

Mr P.M Salam is an honest and true patriot.

Default-user-icon Fadi (Guest) 25 August 2015, 03:52

Regardless, he should do the right thing and resign, taking the wretchedly incompetent and corrupt cabinet down with him.