Suleiman: Politicians should speak politely


In response to Aoun’s attack Lebanon President Michel Suleiman said in a statement issued from his office on Monday:

“Any public figure granted access to the media should refrain from wielding accusations for the sake of personal interest and should use “balanced, quiet and constructive speech.”

Accountability is necessary, but we must begin with ourselves, resort to constitutional methods and speak politely,” Suleiman said, adding that “weeping over the ruins does not benefit or build a nation.”

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun attacked the government in a televised speech on Sunday and called for resignations of several ministers. He also criticized president Michel Suleiman . “For some time we have been telling the government that it is violating the law, but it is as if they are not listening.”

He also asked : “Is President Michel Suleiman doing anything other than weeping, ” and added : “He has taken the oath on the constitution and has vowed to preserve it.”

Aoun said that the Internal Security Forces (ISF) Information Branch is an “illegitimate branch “, “kidnaps people for months,” and “spreads rumors about people.”

His criticism comes as a possible reference to the branch’s August 5 arrest of retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam on charges of spying for Israel

Karam who is also a senior FPM official, was charged with espionage and providing the Jewish state with information on Hezbollah.

Aoun repeatedly condemned authorities over the issue of leaks to the media on the investigation.

“Who is this branch responsible to?… Is Interior Minister [Ziad Baroud] asleep?” he asked.

Aoun made the remark after questioning whether several cabinet ministers are “sleeping” while rumors leak from the investigation of retired Brigadier General Fayez Karam, adding that resignations are needed.

Karam – an FPM official – was arrested in early August on suspicion of collaborating with Israel.

Aoun also said that even though Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar is responsible for keeping investigations confidential, rumors have spread. He criticized Information Minister Tarek Mitri and Defense Minister Elias al-Murr over the investigations as well.

“Are all these ministers sleeping?” Aoun said, asking, “What are they waiting for to resign?”