Plumbly Meets Miqati, Voices Support for Security Efforts to Tackle Situation in Tripoli

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United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly condemned on Monday the clashes in the northern city of Tripoli and Sunday's rocket attack in Beirut's southern suburbs.

He said after holding talks with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati: “I expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Lebanese army, the security authorities and the caretaker premier himself in trying to calm down and contain the security situation in Tripoli.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to condemn on behalf of the United Nations the rocket attack on the suburbs of Beirut Sunday morning,” he continued.

“I hope that the security authorities will soon identify those responsible for this criminal act,” said Plumbly.

“I will not speak on other security issues, but I will repeat here one core point which I discussed with the Miqati which is the wisdom that Lebanon’s government, people and leaders showed when they adopted the policy of disassociation and the Baabda Declaration, and our hope that all concerned will now reflect again on just how important these are for keeping Lebanon safe from conflict,” he added.

Discussions between Plumbly and Miqati also tackled the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Plumbly reiterated the U.N.’s strong appreciation for Lebanon’s efforts but also those of donors to support the Syrian refugees.

“But the number of refugees is of course greatly in excess of the estimate when the appeal was made in January. We are working now with the government of Lebanon on a joint appeal for Lebanon to cover the next six months from June in order to meet the needs of the Syrian refugees but also of the Lebanese communities hosting them and we hope for a positive response from the international community,” he said.

Clashes between Tripoli's rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen broke out on May 19.

The sectarian fighting between the two main neighborhoods stretches back four decades to Lebanon's civil war, but it has become more frequent and increasingly lethal since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. The two districts support opposite sides.

The latest round of gunbattles had been the bloodiest yet, leaving at least 31 dead and more than 200 wounded.

Four people were wounded on Sunday morning in a rocket attack on Beirut's southern suburbs. The Lebanese army said in a statement that a rocket was fired at a car dealership near the Mar Mikhael church and another landed in the Maroun Misk neighborhood.

The incident came just hours after Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed "victory" in Syria, where Hizbullah fighters are engaged in fierce battles against Syrian rebels in Qusayr.

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