Gemayel calls for UN forces on Lebanese-Syrian border

If a plot targeting Lebanese community leaders proves to be true, the country needs to reevaluate its security agreement with Syria, Ameen Gemayel, leader of the Phalange Party and former Lebanese President said on Monday in a press conference.

He also called for international peacekeeping forces along the Lebanese-Syrian border, apart from the 14,000 UN troops already deployed on Lebanon’s borders with Israel. Beyond hasty initial declarations last Thursday, few senior politicians offered any assessments of the fate that befell the former Member of Parliament and Information Minister, Michel Samaha.

On Monday, Gemayel congratulated Internal Security Forces (ISF) chief Ashraf Rifi and Intelligence Bureau commander Wissam Al Hassan, on exposing the plot that targeted the Akkar region with fresh bombings against Christian as well as Muslim community leaders. In a wide-ranging press conference at his Bikfayyah summer residence, Gemayel warned against any interference in the ongoing investigations, and commended judiciary authorities for rejecting outside pressures.

He said that this particular security dragnet was a rare achievement, which could potentially be as significant as the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon after the February 14, 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. What stood out, affirmed Gemayel, was the Lebanese judiciary’s courage to simultaneously hand out an arrest warrant to apprehend Ali Mamluk, Syria’s National Security chief. Although ISF officials did not issue a formal confirmation as to whether Mamluk ordered Samaha to carry out the attacks, rumours to that effect continued to dominate the public discourse that, if documented, would further isolate Damascus’ allies in Lebanon.

Gemayel boldly pointed out that this was “the first time that the Lebanese could determine that agents of the Syrian regime” were exposed, and it was critical to ensure that the judiciary withstood any and all efforts to politicise this grave development, distort facts, and offer platitudes that would further embolden criminals.

“Several leaders in Lebanon at the present time are threatened,” said Gemayel, adding that “security conditions were particularly egregious and in need of the utmost attention.”

Clear statement

He declared that there ought to be no differences between foreign agents who allegedly conspired with friendly or unfriendly countries, which was a veiled reference to the arrest, trial and incarceration of Lebanese citizens detained for cooperating with Israel. In the event, Gemayel requested the cabinet to convene quickly, tackle the alleged plot that targeted the country, and issue a clear statement in light of all known facts to date.

Gemayel asked whether the Lebanese-Syrian “fraternity has now been transformed into animosity,” and insisted that what was now “required was to provide the League of Arab States and the United Nations Security Council with all available data on the putative security infringements by the Syrian regime of Lebanese sovereignty. Gemayel closed his press conference with references to the upcoming national dialogue session, ostensibly scheduled for August 16, reemphasising that his “main concern was the illegal Hezbollah weapons,” adding that “the triptych of the people-army-resistance” could no longer be sustained. Without declaring whether the Phalangists would attend, Gemayel announced that the party “was in consultation with its allies to take a common position on participation in the dialogue session next Thursday.”

By Joseph Kechichian

Gulf News

  • Leborigine

    I have said it before and will say it again, there has to be a wall similar to the Berlin wall, that stretches from the Meditteranean above 3akkar all the way down to israel and then along the israeli border to the Mediteranean again. This will keep all the terrorists and non-Lebanese scum from entering whenever they feel like. There will be 3 heavily gaurded gates. One in the north, one in the east and one in the south for trade and exchange purposes. Obviously the southern gate will be locked until we sign a peace treaty with israel, which should happen soon anyway! All the syrian workers and tourists that enter Lebanon should be heavily taxed and that will pay for the wall. If they decide not to enter Lebanon due to the high costs and prefer to go somewhere else, that is even a bigger bonus. I wish I was the foreign minister, I would have implemented that plan yesterday!!

    • Lebguy

      Leborigine, that is a top idea! I agree 100% with the wall. But just for kicks all the gate entrances can be made to look like the entrances to Luna Park just for kicks. Sorry buddy I’ve had an operation and they’ve got me hocked up on Tramadol and endone, great stuff 🙂

      • 5thDrawer

        Nice you could afford the pain-killers AND the operation. Get well soon. 🙂

        • Lebguy

          Thanx Bro….

        • Lebguy

          Thanx Bro….

      • Leborigine

        LMFAO! I should go and take some Demazin with a couple of glasses of Scotch, which will definitely do the job. The Luna Park entrances is a great idea! How could anyone then declare war on us with such a sense of humour?!  Anyway, salemtak and get better soon!

        • Lebguy

          Thanks Leborigine

        • Lebguy

          Thanks Leborigine

    • Lebguy

      Leborigine, that is a top idea! I agree 100% with the wall. But just for kicks all the gate entrances can be made to look like the entrances to Luna Park just for kicks. Sorry buddy I’ve had an operation and they’ve got me hocked up on Tramadol and endone, great stuff 🙂

  • Leborigine

    I have said it before and will say it again, there has to be a wall similar to the Berlin wall, that stretches from the Meditteranean above 3akkar all the way down to israel and then along the israeli border to the Mediteranean again. This will keep all the terrorists and non-Lebanese scum from entering whenever they feel like. There will be 3 heavily gaurded gates. One in the north, one in the east and one in the south for trade and exchange purposes. Obviously the southern gate will be locked until we sign a peace treaty with israel, which should happen soon anyway! All the syrian workers and tourists that enter Lebanon should be heavily taxed and that will pay for the wall. If they decide not to enter Lebanon due to the high costs and prefer to go somewhere else, that is even a bigger bonus. I wish I was the foreign minister, I would have implemented that plan yesterday!!

    • Lebguy

      Leborigine, that is a top idea! I agree 100% with the wall. But just for kicks all the gate entrances can be made to look like the entrances to Luna Park just for kicks. Sorry buddy I’ve had an operation and they’ve got me hocked up on Tramadol and endone, great stuff 🙂

      • 5thDrawer

        Nice you could afford the pain-killers AND the operation. Get well soon. 🙂

        • Lebguy

          Thanx Bro….

      • Leborigine

        LMFAO! I should go and take some Demazin with a couple of glasses of Scotch, which will definitely do the job. The Luna Park entrances is a great idea! How could anyone then declare war on us with such a sense of humour?!  Anyway, salemtak and get better soon!

        • Lebguy

          Thanks Leborigine

  • dateam

    so in effect we are admiting we dont have a strong army thats why we now need the un to come into the north?

    • 5thDrawer

      No … it’s because the fence-sitters would rather the UN get involved and take the hits. They could then blame UN too … when it decides to send a whole army of ‘peacemakers’.

  • dateam

    so in effect we are admiting we dont have a strong army thats why we now need the un to come into the north?

  • dateam

    so in effect we are admiting we dont have a strong army thats why we now need the un to come into the north?

    • 5thDrawer

      No … it’s because the fence-sitters would rather the UN get involved and take the hits. They could then blame UN too … when it decides to send a whole army of ‘peacemakers’.