Information Minister Tarek Mitri said following Tuesday’s cabinet session that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri both voiced the importance of safekeeping civil peace and promoting dialogue.
Tension between the Future Movement and Hezbollah ran high after armed Hezbollah bodyguards received former General Security chief Jamil as-Sayyed in the VIP lounge at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport on Saturday without the needed permission from any of the relevant bodies.
Sayyed, who had returned from France, was summoned by Attorney General Judge Said Mirza for questioning following the former’s September 12 statement, in which he attacked Hariri. Hezbollah called on the judiciary to revoke the summons.
Mitri quoted Sleiman as saying that “experience has taught us the importance of dialogue,” adding that the president touched on August’s Bourj Abi Haidar clashes and Saturday’s airport incident, and called on all parties not to fall into disputes that could have serious consequences.
Three people died in the fighting on August 24 in the Bourj Abi Haidar area of Beirut between supporters of Hezbollah and those of the Sunni group Al-Ahbash.
Hariri then addressed the ministers, saying that the 2009 Ministerial Statement and the Taif Accord set the parameters for the work of the national-unity cabinet. “The Ministerial Statement is a road map for the cabinet. There are several important points that have been voiced in the statement that the government adheres to, which are: the [embracing] of the Resistance clause, having good relations with Syria, supporting the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and rejecting Palestinian naturalization, among others.”
The PM added that while voicing different opinions is a right, “such differences must not undermine security, and dialogue must prevail over political [noise].
Also in the news, the Future bloc issued a statement on Tuesday following its weekly meeting and questioned the presence of Hezbollah’s armed members at Beirut’s airport on Saturday to receive Sayyed.
The statement said that the presence of armed individuals terrorizes the Lebanese and reflects a weak image of Lebanon’s stability. It also condemned the move, stressing the importance of abiding by the law and supporting state security institutions instead.
The bloc also rejected any attempt to obstruct the STL, probing the 2005 assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.