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THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
02:52 PM Beirut time
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Mansour: Syria planes over Lebanon 'friendly'
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour speaks during an interview in Beirut, Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour speaks during an interview in Beirut, Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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BEIRUT: Caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour defended in remarks published Tuesday Syria’s violation of Lebanon’s airspace, saying the issue should be resolved on the basis of security agreements between the two countries.

"The Syrian planes are friendly and not hostile and we should be aware of the facts of what happened,” Mansour told Al-Joumhouria.

"Therefore, we are waiting for the Army leadership to give us details and available information so we know how to deal with this issue on the basis of bilateral security agreements between the sisterly states,” he added.

In a rare responsive measure, the Lebanese Army fired anti-aircraft batteries on a Syrian warplane after it flew over a military center in the northeastern town of Arsal.

The center is used to distribute aid to Syrian refugees.

Minutes later, Syrian aerial gunships fired four missiles meters away from the army center. No material damage or loss of life was reported.

Mansour has been the target of heavy criticism from the March 14 coalition who considers him “Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon.”

In his remarks, the foreign affairs minister said the security of both Lebanon and Syria should be preserved, saying: “It is not acceptable for Lebanon to become threatened by Syria and vice versa.”

“The issue should be viewed at a distance from political disputes,” he said.

"We affirm that what happened does not affect the nature of ties between the two countries that we always seek to maintain as historic and special,” Mansour added.

 
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