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Lebanon's army chief General Jean Kahwaji (2nd L) and Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel (3rd R) welcome French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian upon his arrival at Beirut airport airbase, during a ceremony to give weapons to the Lebanese army April 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Lebanon’s army chief General Jean Kahwaji (2nd L) and Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Samir Moqbel (3rd R) welcome French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian upon his arrival at Beirut airport airbase, during a ceremony to give weapons to the Lebanese army April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel  dismissed  on Monday a call by Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Michel Aoun to withdraw confidence from him over the security appointments controversy.

“I did not hear him and I don’t care about him,” Moqbel told reporters after a meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea in Maarab.

“There’s an Italian song that says, ‘Parole, Parole,’” the minister quipped.

On Saturday, Aoun slammed  Moqbel over the issue of the terms of the country’s top security chiefs.

“You are obliged to implement the laws on time because the army commander is illegitimate and you should resign if you can’t do that,” said Aoun.

“We will reject those who reject us in this country,” he added, stressing that “the army command, the presidency and all first-degree posts in state institutions are our rights.”

“We should appoint the majority of Christian officials and the government should ratify their appointment,” added Aoun.

Moqbel and the FPM are at loggerheads in light of Aoun’s recent call for withdrawing confidence from the minister over the extension of the term of the head of the Higher Defense Council, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khair.

The military positions in Lebanon are suffering as a result of the year-long presidential vacuum .

The vacuum also threatens the position of Internal Security Forces chief Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous who is set to retire in June.

The tenure of Army Chief General Jean Kahwaji is set to end in September. His term was extended for two years in September 2013.

The Lebanese parliament failed on My 13th  and for the 23rd  time in a row to elect a president to replace Michel Suleiman whose term ended on May 25.

As in the past sessions the parliament was unable to reach a quorum because the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group and its ally MP Michel Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc MPs boycotted the sessions.
Speaker Nabih Berri who is allied with Hezbollah and Aoun postponed  the election to June 3 , 2015 .

 

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