BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest - Oct. 23, 2012

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Tuesday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.

Al-Mustaqbal

Important leads in Hasan’s assassination probe ... Ashton in Beirut today

March 14 from boycotting government to boycotting Parliament

Chaos spread through Beirut and Tripoli as security forces exerted efforts to bring the situation under control and prevent it from expanding.

This turmoil nearly overshadowed the peaceful action launched by March 14 forces through a sit-in outside the Grand Serail in Beirut and another outside Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s residence in Tripoli or through boycotting parliamentary meetings after boycotting the government.

However, the most significant development was the uncovering of “important leads” in the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, according to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.

Al-Joumhouria

Army draws a red line, Washington committed to [Lebanon’s] stability, not government

Assassination or chaos?

Diplomatic sources told Al-Joumhouria that the U.S. administration does not care about the survival of the current government as this is something the Lebanese themselves determine. Washington, according to the sources, is instead interested in maintaining stability in Lebanon and avoiding political vacuum and chaos, which could be exploited by forces that want to export the Syria crisis to Lebanon.

The opposition found itself following the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan with two options: chaos or assassination.

The opposition believes that the continuation of the incumbent government is tantamount to legalizing chaos and assassinations.

It also believes that while the international community is keen on Lebanon’s stability, the continuation of this government would push the country sooner or later into chaos and destruction.

As-Safir

Life back in the capital ... roads to south, Bekaa open ... Tripoli waiting

Hasan’s last phone call to Hariri: I'm in Beirut

It is enough that every family sitting in the current state of fear wanted to throw more than a rose or grain on the Lebanese Army. They wanted to embrace each and every soldier who put an end to the sight of gunmen on the streets and the road closures for school children to get to school and employees wanting to get to work.

It is enough that the Lebanese Army is proud that it remains to be an institution at an equal distance from all the Lebanese.

While Ashrafieh was trying to get back on its feet four days after the car bomb attack, a well-informed official told As-Safir that the Internal Security Forces Information Branch put its hand on the "communications data" that took place between Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan hours before his assassination, specifically from the moment of his arrival at Beirut airport Thursday evening until the moment of the explosion Friday afternoon.

The official said that ISF chief Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi only learned that Hasan was back in Beirut from former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Hariri telephoned Rifi at 4 p.m. Friday to ask about Hasan’s wellbeing [about an hour after the car bomb ripped through Ashrafieh].

Rifi replied that Hasan was still in Paris. It was then that Hariri told Rifi that Hasan had called him upon arrival in Beirut to tell him he was okay.

Rifi at once dispatched a squad in charge of Hasan’s security to the blast scene and it was around 5 p.m. that the team got back from the crime scene and everybody discovered that Hasan was the target.

Al-Akhbar

... And he went on pilgrimage with a clear conscience

Prime Minister Najib Mikati returns to the Grand Serail today, enjoying both Arab and international political support while closing the doors to attempts to overthrow the Cabinet and leaving the opposition to cry and scream behind a locked door.

Just as every year, Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed to Mecca to perform the Hajj.

Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning at the latest, the plane carrying him and his family will head to Mecca.

He is going to Hajj with a “clear conscience,” one of Mikati’s aides said. He cares less about all the opposition’s accusations against him.

On Friday, after Mikati found out that Wissam al-Hasan was the target of the car bombing, he believed remaining as prime minister was meaningless.

He was even more convinced of the need to resign on Saturday. But the flood of phone calls he received from Arab and international countries, who warned him against creating a political vacuum in the country, made him reconsider his calculations.

 

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