Hariri: remaining silent over the clashes is ‘unacceptable’


The idea that “we stand as observers to clashes such as those in Beirut on August 24 and remain silent without giving an opinion” is “unacceptable,” Prime Minister Saad Hariri said during an Iftar dinner at Qoreitem on Friday, according to a statement from his office.

His comments come after the bloody street battle that shook the Borj Abi Haidar neighborhood in the Lebanese capital on August 24, pitting supporters of the Iranian backed Hezbollah against the pro-Syrian Al-Ahbash militants —also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects. 3 people were killed in the clash including a Hezbollah senior official.

Hariri’s comment may be a possible response to the accusations made by Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during his Friday speech in which he accused politicians of “blowing the Borj Abi Haidar clashes out of proportion in order to exploit them” , and said ” those who think the incident reflects an Iranian-Syrian dispute are betting on a failed American neoconservative project.”

Many analysts branded the clashes as a proxy war between Iran and Syria over the control of Lebanon.

On August 25, the cabinet agreed to form a commission to deal with arms proliferation. In a statement issued after a Beirut Development Conference meeting on August 27, Beirut MPs and municipality officials called for a “weapons-free Beirut.”

March 8 MPs have said that such slogans aim to incite sectarian tension and that the weapons proliferation issue is being used against the Resistance.

Hariri reiterated his call for calmness and dialogue, adding that it was essential to preserve coexistence and that no one sect could ever gain advantage over another without Lebanon itself losing.