BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam refuted the idea that Lebanon could become a jihadist hub, saying Tuesday that terrorists would find nowhere to hide in the country.
“There is no safe haven for terrorism in Lebanon and the internal situation is under control, it will not allow for such an environment to rise,” Salam told Al-Jazeera television. “I think the Lebanese citizens proved that there can only be a safe haven for peace and stability in Lebanon.”
Salam said the phenomenon of extremism in Lebanon was “limited and contained.”
The premier also commended the work of the country’s security agencies, which he said had recently proven themselves able to foil terrorist attacks.
Authorities have launched a pre-emptive crackdown on militants who are suspected to have infiltrated the country with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and assassinations in Lebanon.
A suicide bomber blew himself up last week to evade arrest during a raid at a Beirut hotel. His partner, a Saudi would-be suicide bomber was arrested alive.
Salam also spoke about the presidential deadlock and Parliament’s failure to elect a new head of a state, saying the political stalemate could also interrupt the upcoming Parliamentary election.
“The presidential vacuum is a weak point and reflects negatively on Lebanon,” he said. “Christians should make their minds up because they are the first victims of this void.”
“Amid a failure to elect a new president, the situation is not encouraging to hold the parliamentary elections,” he added.
“How can the political impasse over the presidential election guarantee that the parliamentary election will be held?”