Suleiman: Jaafari's Letter to U.N. Not Based on Verified Facts

Posted on: May 24, 2012 at 00:25
President Michel Suleiman on Wednesday said that a letter sent to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon by Syria’s envoy to the U.N. Bashar al-Jaafari was not based on “verified facts.”

“It is not based on verified facts, and moreover the information of the Army Command and the Lebanese security agencies say totally otherwise,” Suleiman told U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly during a meeting at the Baabda Palace.

In his letter, Jaafari claimed that some Lebanese areas near the Lebanese-Syrian border “have become an incubator for terrorist elements from the al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood organizations who are tampering with the security of Syria and its citizens.”

The letter also claims that “50 terrorists are stationed in the town of al-Qalamoun in Tripoli under the command of Khaled al-Tanak, Khaled Hamza and Zakariya Ghaleb al-Khouli.” The letter said the alleged terrorists “possess IDs carrying the stamp of the U.N. that they use to go through Lebanese army checkpoints.”

Separately, Suleiman reiterated his condemnation of the kidnap of Lebanese pilgrims in Syria on Tuesday, lauding the pacifying stances of several Lebanese leaders, especially Speaker Nabih Berri and Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Meanwhile, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed and Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour visited Suleiman to discuss Lebanese-Palestinian ties and the situations of the Palestinians in Lebanon.

The conferees agreed on the need to keep Palestinian refugee camps calm, stable and away from involvement in Lebanese domestic affairs.

The president was also briefed by army intelligence director Brig. Gen. Edmond Fadel and General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim about the security situations in the country and the available information on the latest security incidents.

Earlier on Wednesday, Suleiman discussed the latest developments in Lebanon with Saudi King Abdullah and Qatari Emir Qatar's emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani during a phone conversation.

Suleiman contacted Abdullah on Tuesday and tackled regional and global issues of common interest, the official Kuwaiti KUNA news agency reported.

According to the news agency, the two also discussed the bilateral ties.

Qatari news agency QNA reported, that Suleiman tackled with the Qatari emir the bilateral ties and the developments in the region.

The president also sent a cable to Turkish President Abdullah Gul and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the National News Agency said.

On Tuesday, Abdullah said that the kingdom is monitoring the situation in Lebanon with “deep concern” following the clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, “especially since they targeted a main sect in the country.”

He urged Suleiman in a cable to end the crisis through his call for national dialogue and keenness to keep Lebanon away from regional disputes, most notably the Syrian crisis.

Clashes erupted last week in Tripoli between the two rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen after the General Security Department detained Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi on charges of belonging to a terrorist group.

On Sunday the clashes spilled to Akkar after Sheikh Ahmed Abdul Wahed was shot dead along with his companion Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Merheb at an army checkpoint in the northern town of al-Kweikhat.

The tension soon spread to Beirut where several areas of the Lebanese capital were blocked by burning tires.
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