Ten thousand Lebanese want to leave Ivory Coast

Ali Ajami , Lebanese ambassador to the Ivory Coast told al Nahar newspaper that out of the 70, 000 Lebanese that live in the Ivory Coast ten thousand want to leave the country.

He said there are many obstacles facing the evacuation of the Lebanese expatriates :

-The airport is not suitable for landing and take off of large passenger planes

– The road to the airport is not safe …too many gunmen who are firing at passersby.

He said these are the main reasons why the 3 Middle East Airlines flights to Abidjan have been delayed.

Commenting on the report that one Lebanese was killed, Ajami had good news : Mohammad Basma is still alive . He said Basma was shot by a gunman in his forehead and in another part of his body but was taken to Ibn Sina Hospital which is owned by a Lebanese expatriate , where they operated on him and the operation was successful. He added the total number of Lebanese that were wounded is seven

The Higher Defense Council will convene Tuesday under the chairmanship of President Michel Suleiman to discuss measures aimed at protecting Lebanese expatriates in Abidjan, according to a statement by the presidential office.

The Lebanese expatriate in Côte d’Ivoire reportedly came under threat after Lebanon’s ambassador meddled in the internal affairs of the country by attending the swearing-in ceremony of Laurent Gbagbo, the controversial strongman who has refused to step down despite rival Alassane Ouattara being internationally recognized as having won the country’s elections.