BEIRUT: General Security Friday hit back at critics of Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, defending the security chief’s repeated trips to Syria as having been officially sanctioned by the Lebanese state with the aim of resolving a number of pressing matters including kidnappings.
“Some recent media articles have attempted to drive a wedge between the head of General Security and some Lebanese figures,” the agency said in a statement.
“The goals of these attempts are known and yesterday’s remarks by a former minister on a television channel are part of such a scenario,” he added.
The statement was referring to an LBCI interview with former Minister Wiam Wahhab, the head of the Arab Tawhid Party, who questioned the motives behind Ibrahim’s repeated visits to Damascus and his meetings with Syrian officials.
“The head of General Security would like to clarify that his visits abroad, particularly to Syria, were official trips tasked by Lebanese authorities, namely the president,” General Security said.
“These trips have freed many Lebanese kidnapped in Syria, ensured the release last year of detainee Hassan Srour, repatriated the bodies of the Tal Kalakh incident to their relatives and resolved the Syrian ban on Lebanese trucks,” it added.
“The question that poses itself is what, apart from personal gains, have resulted from visits by some [Lebanese] officials to Syria in the past decades?” it added.
In a direct swipe at Wahhab, the statement said General Security did not count on the evaluations of individuals such as the former minister but rather of “Lebanese people and authorities.”
“Moreover, the systematic blackmail on television screens by some people will not set appointments for them [in Syria] with the aim of achieving personal interests,” it said.