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Lebanon’s former PM Saad Hariri on Monday urged his country to denounce the “massacre” taking place in Syria, saying it should not remain silent in the face of the brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests.

“Lebanon cannot dissociate itself from the open massacre taking place” in Syria, Hariri, whose cabinet was toppled in January by the Syrian-backed militant party Hezbollah and its allies, said in a statement.

He called on the new government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in which Hezbollah plays a key role, to dissociate itself from backing the repression in neighbouring Syria.

“Lebanon must stand next to Syria… but standing next to Syria this time means standing with its people,” he said.

Hariri’s statement came amid mounting condemnation by Arab states of the violence in Syria, including a firm rebuke by the Saudi monarch, whose country until now had remained largely silent over the bloodshed.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain all announced on Monday that they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus.

Lebanon last week dissociated itself from a statement by the UN Security Council condemning Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad for unleashing a fierce campaign against civilians and violating human rights.

Mikati on Monday reiterated that Lebanon’s position was linked to the fact that it did not wish to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs.

Khaleej Times

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