Miqati Meets al-Rahi: Unity, Awareness Can Prevent Syrian Crisis Spillover

Posted on: June 04, 2012 at 00:14
Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Monday noted that his government is “preserving stability,” stressing that through “unity and awareness” the Lebanese can prevent a spillover of the Syrian crisis into their country.

Briefing reporters after talks with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki, Miqati said: “We are not with or against the call for (the government’s) resignation, but we must rather stress that the government is preserving stability … We respect (Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel) Aoun’s viewpoint and we take his opinion into consideration.”

Miqati warned that the country cannot bear further seditious remarks.

Aoun on Saturday warned that “the events in Syria have started to spill over into Lebanon, but the government wants to disassociate itself from the issue.”

“Starting today, the confrontation against the government’s mistakes must begin,” added Aoun.

Asked about former premier Saad Hariri’s remarks earlier in the day that “what happened in Tripoli recently is proof the Syrian regime is unrelenting in its plot to set Lebanon on fire,” Miqati said: “We are against importing the Syrian crisis, because stability is crucial and through our unity and awareness we can prevent such a spillover.”

“I call on everyone to engage in (national) dialogue and I agreed with the patriarch that dialogue is necessary in order to reach the desired result,” Miqati added.

“I stressed to the patriarch that the government will activate its work and he was reassured by that,” he went on to say.

Miqati said he tackled the issue of administrative appointments with al-Rahi “without discussing names, because the patriarch does not support a certain candidate but is rather demanding respect for the criterion of competency.”

“The government has proved that it is not one-sided and that it comprises several viewpoints,” said Miqati.

He stressed that his government’s so-called self-disassociation policy was necessary for Lebanon amid the current circumstances in the region.

Commenting on the latest clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, his hometown, Miqati said: “The tensions in Tripoli date back several decades and I call on everyone to practice self-restraint.”

Miqati concluded: “The government is not as important as a capable and just state and we fear that any vacuum would negatively affect the state’s entity.”

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