Mashnouq Meets Hariri after Wahhab's 'Revelations'

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Caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq held talks Monday at the Center House with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

In a statement, Mashnouq had earlier stressed that Hariri “will not back down from his constitutional steadfastness in the cabinet formation process and will not step down from his mission, even if the level of pressures ‘reaches the peaks of mountains.’”

The minister had on Sunday come under a fierce verbal attack from Arab Tawhid Party leader Wiam Wahhab, who claimed that Mashnouq had visited Syria several times after the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri.

“Mashnouq continued to visit Syria until 2011 after the 2005 assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri,” Wahhab said in an interview on al-Jadeed TV.

“I tell Mashnouq, ‘Don’t push me to disclose your true opinion on Saad Hariri,’” the ex-minister added.

He however clarified that communication between Mashnouq and Damascus has been severed since the eruption of the Syrian conflict.

Mashnouq tweeted following Wahhab’s remarks, promising to correct what he called the ex-minister’s “inaccuracy.”

“I will respond to ex-minister Wiam Wahhab’s remarks accurately, citing dates and events -- something he lacked in his statements about me,” Mashnouq said.

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