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Mansour letting Syria violate Lebanon sovereignty: Future

Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Sept. 10, 2011. (Mohammad Azakir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Future Movement representatives said Tuesday that Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour was harming Lebanese interests by ignoring official instructions to file complaints with Damascus.

Speaking to a television station Tuesday evening, Mansour said the Future Movement wanted the government to deal with Syria as if it were an enemy, but this would not happen.

According to the opposition movement, Mansour has continuously ignored President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s instructions to file an official complaint to authorities in Damascus over Syrian violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

“We cannot keep quiet on the foreign minister’s repeated disregard of requests from the president and prime minister and his insistence on working against the interests of the Lebanese,” the Future Movement said following the bloc’s weekly meeting.

Mikati asked Mansour to file a complaint to Syrian authorities over the recent shelling of northern border villages that killed a number of Lebanese.

But Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel-Karim Ali this week denied being summoned by Mansour and said Damascus would continue to fire at potential rebel targets in Lebanon.

Following a meeting with Mansour at the Foreign Ministry, Ali said his government would continue to respond against violent antagonism from across the border with Lebanon as part of standard procedure, despite Sleiman and Mikati’s complaints.

Criticizing Mansour and Ali, the Future Movement said the remarks constitute a clear breach of Lebanon’s sovereignty. “We denounce, in the strongest possible terms, the remarks made by Syria’s envoy in Lebanon ... in which he affirmed, in a despicable manner, the regime’s readiness ... to violate Lebanon’s sovereignty and launch aggressive acts against Lebanese villages and towns on the northern border,” the statement said.

The Future comments came less than a day after Mikati criticized Mansour for ignoring his instructions.

“Mansour’s remarks cannot be justified,” Mikati told MTV television in an interview Monday evening.

“The prime minister decides what the government’s stance is and Lebanon will remain committed to the policy of disassociation,” said Mikati.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 06, 2013, on page 3.

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