BEIRUT: The March 14 coalition warned Wednesday that Beirut’s international airport could be seen as “dangerous” following the recent kidnapping of two Turkish pilots.
“March 14 expressed its fear – in light of [the kidnappings] – that Rafik Hariri International Airport will be regarded as unsafe by the international community,” the coalition said after its weekly meeting.
Last week gunmen kidnapped two Turkish Airlines pilots shortly after they left Beirut airport toward their hotel.
The kidnapping was linked to demands for the release of nine Lebanese kidnapped in northern Syria by rebels last year.
The Lebanese opposition also voiced concerns that the Bekaa Valley would slip into sectarian strife, pointing to renewed tit-for-tat kidnappings there between members of the Sunni and Shiite sects.
The alliance, led by the Future Movement of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, blasted Hezbollah, linking the group’s involvement in Syria to the increased violence in Lebanon.
“Since Hezbollah openly confirmed its involvement in the fighting in Syria, incidents have increased, [moving] from one area to another and putting the Lebanese before a possible return to the black days of the [Lebanese 1975-90] Civil War,” March 14 said.
Hezbollah, the March 14 alliance added, has also put the Lebanese government at a possible confrontation with the international community by labeling Lebanon a state unable to respect the most basic rules of sovereignty.
Consequently, the March 14 group called on all Lebanese to “confront the collapse of the state and support the project of [building] a just and powerful state.”