Miqati: I Arm Residents of Tripoli with Knowledge as I Oppose Mentality of Weapons and War

Posted on: June 23, 2012 at 00:22
Prime Minister Najib Miqati slammed allegations that he is arming Salafist movements in the northern city of Tripoli, saying that such accusations are politically motivated.

He said before reporters during his trip to Brazil: “I support the mentality of openness, knowledge, and forgiveness, not that of arms or war.”

“The only arms I supply them with is knowledge,” he declared.

The premier travelled to Brazil to take part in the U.N. conference on sustainable development that opens in Rio de Janeiro next week.

Addressing the imprisonment without trial of Islamists in Roumieh prison, Miqati remarked: “They are being oppressed and we are trying to end this oppression because it will only create fundamentalism.”

Nine Islamists linked to the 2007 Nahr al-Bared clashes were released on bail this week after over four years in jail.

Miqati has pledged to pay the bail of each of the Islamists.

Commenting on this pledge, he said: “Some sides chose to criticize me for this action and they have therefore ignored the heart of the problem, which is the imprisonment of people without trial for five years.”

Over a hundred people are still detained and waiting trial, he revealed.

“We do not meddle in the affairs of the judiciary, but we seek a fair trial for them,” he stressed.

“We are approaching this issue from legal, humanitarian, and social perspectives,” stated the premier.

Miqati held talks on his trip with a number of top officials, including French President Francois Hollande, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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