BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Berri, Machnouk discuss Arsal security

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk attends a ceremony in Roumieh, Monday, June 16, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Speaker Nabih Berri spoke Monday on the security situation in the border town of Arsal, and on ways to beef up national security and civil peace.

“Consultation with Speaker Berri is always more than necessary. Discussions today focused specifically on the security situation, notably in Arsal and the Bekaa,” Machnouk said after the meeting, according to the National News Agency (NNA).

Machnouk, who represents the Future Movement in PM Tammam Salam’s Cabinet, stressed that Arsal’s security remains an “exclusive priority” for the government, following the showdown that pitted the Army against takfiri militants from Syria earlier this month.

“It is the government’s duty and task to work on reinforcing security in the region of Arsal and boost civil peace there,” Machnouk said.

“The speaker was the first to call for investing in national security. I felt it is my duty to visit him and consult him on that issue in general, and the developments in Arsal in particular, especially on ways to rectify the situation there,” he said, adding that Berri was contemplating several options regarding Arsal. He gave no further details regarding the potential action the government would take.

Berri is head of the Amal Movement, part of the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition which opposes the March 14 camp led by the Future Movement.

At least 60 militants and 19 soldiers were killed in the five days of clashes, which erupted on Aug. 2 after militants from Syria’s Nusra Front and Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) overran Arsal, a town on Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria. The militants pulled out a week later under an agreement brokered by the Committee of Muslim Scholars but took 29 captured security and Army personnel with them.

The militants have placed conditions to free the Lebanese personnel, including the release of militant leader Imad Ahmed Jomaa whose arrest by the Army had triggered the Arsal showdown, and other Islamist prisoners.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk and Speaker Nabih Berri spoke Monday on the security situation in the border town of Arsal, and on ways to beef up national security and civil peace.

Machnouk, who represents the Future Movement in PM Tammam Salam's Cabinet, stressed that Arsal's security remains an "exclusive priority" for the government, following the showdown that pitted the Army against takfiri militants from Syria earlier this month.

Berri is head of the Amal Movement, part of the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition which opposes the March 14 camp led by the Future Movement.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here