BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Sleiman says Dialogue could help combat terrorism

President Michel Sleiman speaks during a ceremony in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Thursday that resuming the National Dialogue over the country’s defense strategy could help limit terrorism.

“The measures taken on the ground to combat terrorism could be complemented by the resumption of talks on the defense strategy submitted by the President to the National Dialogue Committee,” Sleiman said during talks with acting General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud to discuss the string of terrorist attacks that have targeted Lebanon.

“Discussing a defense strategy has become a necessity in order to limit the danger of terrorism and completely eliminate it from our country,” the president added.

He also hailed the security, military, and judicial authorities for their handling of the bombings.

During a National Dialogue Committee meeting at Baabda Palace in September, 2012, Sleiman unveiled to rival Lebanese leaders a national defense strategy that would allow Hezbollah to keep its arms but place them under the command of the Lebanese Army, which would have exclusive authority over the use of force.

The politicians were set to look into the proposal and discuss it later but the Dialogue stalled following the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, the former head of the police’s Information Branch, in the October, 2012.

Several deadly blasts have targeted the Lebanon, particularly predominantly-Shiite areas strongly associated with Hezbollah. The Al-Qaeda-linked groups claiming responsibility have cited Hezbollah's involvement in Syria as the motive for the attacks.

 

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