Garbage on Nahir al Kalib beach. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Khatib admits that the mayor of Beit Shabeb is backed by Metn MP and Kataeb party head Sami Gemayel – a vocal critic of the environment minister – but accuses the local official of being responsible for much of the trash that ended up on Lebanon's coastline.The images of a trash-strewn beach went viral after which Gemayel held a news conference on the blighted shoreline to call for Khatib to resign. Khatib told The Daily Star Thursday that his accusations against THE Beit Shabeb mayor had nothing to do with Gemayel. Beit Shabeb's Mayor Elias al-Ashkar dubbed the minister's actions "purely politically motivated".He said that during Khatib's visit to the area two days ago he was directly critical of Gemayel and his calls for action over the issue of trash management. Gemayel was asked Wednesday about the ongoing feud between him and Khatib and if other politicians were accusing him of using the trash for the elections.
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