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Lebanon watching closely events in Iraq: Rifi

  • Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Thursday, May 8, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said Thursday the Cabinet would summon military and security chiefs at its next session to discuss the possible repercussions of the fast-moving developments in Iraq on the security situation in Lebanon.

“We must follow up what is happening in the region in an accurate, sensitive and responsible manner in order to preserve our unity, coexistence, stability and the safety of our children and country,” Rifi said in an interview with NBN TV.

He spoke after attending a Cabinet session which, among other things, discussed the repercussions of the capture by al-Qaida-inspired militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria of the Iraqi city of Tikrit Wednesday, one day after seizing Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, on the security situation in Lebanon.

Rifi said in emergency cases, the Higher Defense Council is summoned by the president to meet to deal with the situation.

“But today in the absence of a president who is the chairman of the Higher Defense Council, we will something similar to this council’s role ... The Cabinet will be summoned to meet with the presence of security and military chiefs to cope with developments,” he added.

Rifi stressed that the developments in Iraq were not ordinary or minor. “It is a major development that should be followed up in order to shield our country and protect ourselves,” he said. He added that the security situation in Lebanon was “reassuring but we need to be more careful and vigilant.”

 
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