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SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
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Sleiman voices confidence in Lebanese authorities
President Michel Sleiman speaks during a ceremony in Jbeil, north of Beirut. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
President Michel Sleiman speaks during a ceremony in Jbeil, north of Beirut. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman voiced confidence Monday in Lebanon’s security forces, saying that those violating the law were being arrested and that Lebanon’s security record was far better than surrounding countries.

“Do not portray Lebanon as a turbulent country despite [the fact] that some incidents have happened but which did not lead to chaos and we are the best country [in terms of security] when considering our surroundings,” Sleiman told the National News Agency in an interview.

“The law is being applied with regard to the violators and I have confidence in the Army's leadership that it will adopt means it deems appropriate in accordance with the law to preserve general security,” he said.

The president also spoke about the March 14 coalition’s memo, which was handed to him earlier this month and called for the expulsion of Syria’s envoy to Lebanon.

“Any memo sent to the president should not be made public or be printed and the memo that I received had a political content directed at the government,” Sleiman told the NNA.

“This party has a large parliamentary bloc and could have put the Cabinet up for a vote of confidence or presented draft laws that are in line with this memo,” he added.

Earlier this month, head of the Future Movement parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Siniora handed Sleiman, on behalf of the March 14 coalition, a memo asking for the deployment of U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon along the border with Syria and the expulsion of Syria’s Ambassador Ali Abdel-Karim Ali.

“Any party can ask the president something but no one has the right to place conditions on the president in any matter,” Sleiman said.

Sleiman also spoke of Lebanon’s ties with Syria and described them as “special.”

“The relationship with Syria is special and is not dependent on a political party in Lebanon or whoever is in power in Syria, knowing that we had already commenced reconsidering and amending bilateral agreements a while ago,” the president said.

He added that any revision of bi-lateral ties should correct errors and eliminate ambiguities in the interest of both countries and ensure their sovereignties.

 
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