BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Syrian envoy dismisses calls for his expulsion from Lebanon

This file picture shows Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali in Masnaa. (AP Photo/Samer Husseini)

BEIRUT: Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdel-Karim Ali hit back Wednesday at mounting calls for his expulsion from Lebanon, saying those issuing such demands are frustrated and desperate.

He belittled a rally planned for Wednesday afternoon by the youth wings of March 14 political parties to demand his expulsion.

The demonstration by a “small segment of the [March 14] forces outside the foreign ministry is part of the split in the country,” Ali said in a television interview.

He said calls for his expulsion “are a sign of frustration and despair felt by the forces behind this act.”

Ali’s remarks came following a meeting Wednesday with a delegation representing March 8 Lebanese political parties and forces.

Youth wings of the March 14 political parties have organized a rally for Wednesday afternoon to demand Ali’s expulsion over the recent indictment of former Information Minister Michel Samaha and two Syrian military generals for attempted terrorism.

The Future parliamentary bloc has accused Ali of being an accomplice in crimes against Lebanon.

“On a daily basis, [Ali] affirms his participation in crimes and his support for criminal acts of kidnapping and premeditated murder," the Future bloc said in a statement following its weekly meeting Tuesday.

Samaha, Syria’s National Security chief Brig. Gen. Ali Mamlouk and another senior general identified only by his first name of Adnan were charged earlier this month with plotting terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

Samaha has confessed to plotting bomb attacks with Mamlouk and Adnan at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to alleged interrogation transcripts leaked to and published by a local newspaper Monday.

 

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