BEIRUT: Prime Minister Tammam Salam Sunday said that Lebanese security forces were on high alert to maintain security and stability in the country and revealed that a breakthrough had been reached regarding the mechanism governing the work of his Cabinet.
“Security forces are on high alert and security and stability in the country are widely available,” Salam told reporters en route to Kuwait. Salam said that suicide bombings were hard to anticipate, adding that when the country was united on various levels – namely in the sector of security – the threat of suicide bombings was significantly diminished.
After a period of relative calm since the formation of Salam's government, terror struck Lebanon again Friday, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway, killing one police officer and wounding 33 people, again heightening fears of violent spillover from Syria and Iraq.
Salam also revealed that a breakthrough had been reached regarding the mechanism governing the work of his Cabinet but refused to elaborate on the details of the deal that was reached.
The presidential vacuum has left Lebanon embroiled in a constitutional and political debate that threatens the function of the rest of the state. For several weeks now, ministers have mulled a mechanism to exercise its full executive powers, including the president’s prerogatives, amid the vacuum in the country’s top Christian post.
“The thorny issue of the mechanism governing the Cabinet’s work has been resolved,” Salam told reporters. “Troubles arise when we make decisions without prior consensus or when we tackle problematic issues. I am committed to consensus. Consultations are an integral part of our work during those difficult times because we want to avoid discord as much as possible.”
Salam said the presidential void was “uncomfortable” for the country and efforts must be exerted to swiftly fill the void.
Salam arrived in Kuwait Sunday morning. The premier and accompanying delegation were welcomed by Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabbah and other Kuwaiti officials, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Salam later on held talks with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabbah al-Ahmad al-Sabbah.
Salam told reporters that the purpose of his visit to Kuwait was to “thank our Kuwaiti brothers for their moral and financial support for Lebanon.”
Salam said he would brief Kuwaiti officials about the situation in Lebanon, mainly regarding the Syrian refugee crisis.
“Lebanon has unconditionally welcomed refugees from Syria,” Salam said. “But today there is a need to support the Lebanese and the Syrians to bear the burden of displacement.”