File- Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Friday, July 25, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil Friday said the Environment Ministry had no right to stop work at the controversial Janna dam in Mount Lebanon.Bassil's Free Patriotic Movement is a strong backer of the Janna dam project, along with Hezbollah and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblatt's bloc. However, ministers from the Future Movement and the Kataeb Party along with Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb oppose it, citing environmental reasons. Paul Abi Rached, the president of environmental NGO Lebanon Eco-Movement previously told The Daily Star that the Janna Dam project has violated the law since the beginning, as no Environmental Impact Assessment was completed before construction began.The project is intended to provide 30 million cubic meters of water to the areas of Jbeil, Kesrouan, and Beirut.The dam's opponents argue that the project is too expensive and severely damages the region's ecosystem.
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