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Lebanese Army chief says won't allow establishment of buffer zones
Lebanese army commander General Jean Kahwagi speaks during a meeting with senior Lebanese army officers in his office in Yarzeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
Lebanese army commander General Jean Kahwagi speaks during a meeting with senior Lebanese army officers in his office in Yarzeh, Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
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BEIRUT: Lebanese Army head Gen. Jean Kahwagi vowed Monday to prevent the establishment of any buffer zone in Lebanon and said the military would work to minimize the impact of the Syria crisis on the country.

“Fellow soldiers, whatever the outcome of the events in Syria, the Army will remain fully prepared to take up its national responsibilities, in accordance with the political decisions and instructions, in order to minimize the impact of these events on Lebanon and protect the people of border areas, and prevent the spillover of strife,” Kahwagi said on the occasion of Army Day which falls on Aug. 1.

The Lebanese Army, he said, will “not allow turning the country into a battleground to translate Syrian differences and regional wills or establish any buffer zone beyond the authority of the state.”

He also pledged to uphold Lebanon’s disassociation policy toward the Syria crisis.

Kahwagi also said the Lebanese Army would continue to confront Israel until the liberation of the occupied Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shouba and Northern part of the village of Ghajar.

“At a time when the Arab region is witnessing developments and unprecedented challenges, the Israeli enemy continues issuing threats against Lebanon, violating the sovereignty of its territory and readying plans to launch new aggression against it,” he said.

“Confrontation will continue with this enemy to foil its criminal plans and until the liberation of the last grain of sand of our occupied land in Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shouba Hills and the Northern part of Ghajar,” he said.

The Army commander also vowed to face up to Israel “with all the powers available” in the event the Jewish state threatened border villages “under the pretext of the presence of gunmen here or there.”

He said the Army would "stand by the people" in their resistance to block Israeli ambitions in Lebanon’s natural wealth – be it within its territorial waters or the exclusive economic zone.

 
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