President Suleiman urged putting Lebanon's interests first


suleiman def 3Lebanese president Michel Suleiman urged Saturday all political factions to to put the country’s interest first, abide by the Baabda declaration and disassociate Lebanon from regional interests .

He also called for the formation of a new cabinet and the resumption of national dialogue talks

“Amid all the dangers threatening the country, I call on all factions without any exception to disassociate Lebanon from regional interests,” Suleiman said in a televised speech on Saturday night.

“I urge putting national interests first,” he added.

The president’s statement comes one day after two deadly explosions in the northern city of Tripoli that targeted 2 mosques , killing at least 45 people and wounding 900 others.

Suleiman considered that forming a new cabinet and taking part in national dialogue sessions “would prevent divisions and fighting in the country.”

“Participation in national dialogue should be done without any previously set conditions,” he remarked.

He also urged political and religious figures in the country to moderate their speeches.

“They must all go back to adopting and abiding by the Baabda Declaration, to secure the higher national interest and to be in harmony with the stance of the majority of the Lebanese.”

He ordered the military and security authorities to “maximize the level of alert and to pursue criminals and terrorists that are threatening the security and the safety of the Lebanese.”

Suleiman also urged the media to assume their responsibility and face the current stage in Lebanon with courage.

He offer his condolences to the families of the victims in Tripoli’s explosions .

Addressing the Lebanese people , Suleiman said they should “preserve their unity and solidarity.”

“We also call on the citizens to cooperate with security organizations and to report any suspicious activities that might threaten public safety,” he added.

Suleiman ended his speech warning against the country turning into a “victim in the international game.”

“The collapse of Lebanon terminates the idea of religious coexistence between different sects and threatens the presence of diversity.”

Prior to his speech, Suleiman had discussed the latest security developments in the country with caretaker premier Najib Mikati, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and several security officials.