NNA - The Supreme Defense Council convened, today at 12:00am at Baabda Palace, in a session chaired by President of the republic, General Michel Aoun, and decided to intensify coordination and cooperation between all security apparatuses, and exchange information to avoid any sabotage acts, under the pretext of rightful living demands. The Council also decided to strictly deter all those who violate security and order. In addition, it was also decided to assign ministers of: Finance, Energy, and Economy, to submit the necessary proposal to the Cabinet regarding consumed fuel quantities, and ways to address the imbalance between demand and supply, in the market.
The meeting was attended by Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, his Deputy and National Defense Minister, Zeina Akar, and Ministers of: Foreign and Expatriates, Nassif Hitti, Finance, Ghazi Wazni, Interior and Municipalities, Mohammed Fahmy, Economy and Trade, Raoul Nehme, and Justice, Mary-Claude Najm.
Also attending the meeting were: Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, Director of General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Director of Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad Othman, Director of State Security, Major General Tony Saliba, Secretary-General of the Supreme Defense Council, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, Cassation Attorney General, Judge Ghassan Ouweidat, Government Commissioner to the Military Court in charge, Judge Fadi Akiki, Head of the Supreme Council of Customs, Retired Brigadier Assaad Toufaili, Director General of Customs, Badri Daher, Director of Army Intelligence, Brigadier General Antoine Mansour, Director of Information Branch in General Security, Brigadier Manh Sawaya, Head of ISF Information Branch, Brigadier Khaled Hammoud, Deputy Director General of State Security, Brigadier Samir Sannan, General Director of the Presidency, Dr. Antoine Choucair, and the Security and Military Adviser of the President, Brigadier Paul Matar.
Statement of Major General Al-Asmar:
“At the invitation of His Excellency, President Michel Aoun, the Supreme Defense Council held a meeting today 15-6-2020 at the Presidential Palace, to discuss security developments and follow-up on measures approved by the Supreme Defense Council, related to land border illegitimate crossings.
The session was attended by the Prime Minister, his Deputy and National Defense Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Finance Minister, Interior Minister, Economy and Trade Minister, and Justice Minister.
Also attending were: Army Commander, Director of General Security, Director of Internal Security Forces, Director of State Security, Secretary-General of the Supreme Defense Council, Cassation Attorney General, Government Commissioner to the Military Court in charge, Head of the Supreme Council of Customs, Customs Director General, Director of Army Intelligence, Director of Information Branch in the General Security, Head of ISF Information Branch, Deputy Director General of State Security, Director General of the Lebanese Presidency, and the President’s Security and Military Adviser.
The President began the meeting by referring to recent riots which took place in numerous regions, especially Beirut and Tripoli, some of which took a sectarian background, in addition to targeting military and security forces with direct assault.
His Excellency said: “Such incidents caused widespread discontent which imposes strict measures to prevent their recurrence in addition to of arrests which include planners, agitators and implementers. After today, it will not be allowed to renew such sabotage acts which affect the prestige of the state and foreshadows serious complications”.
The President asserted the necessity of re-adopting pre-emptive operations to arrest planners and instigators of sabotaging actions, to reduce these events and prevent their incurrence. President Aoun then condemned the attack on military and security forces, noting the efforts exerted by these forces against riots.
Afterwards, Prime Minister Diab considered that “What is happening in the country is not ordinary. It is clear that there is a decision somewhere, internal or external, or perhaps both together to tamper with civil peace and threaten security and stability”.
“What is happening carries numerous dangerous messages, and it is no longer acceptable that perpetrators remain anonymous, and there are no arrested individuals, agitators and executors. This is a very dangerous game which must end. Vandalism, destruction and intimidation of the army and security forces and assault on state institutions must end. What is happening? People ask about the absence of the state. I know that the military and security apparatuses are under great pressure and I know that there are many causalities in their ranks. But continuing in this current situation is no longer acceptable. Thorns take possession of streets and destroy the country and its institutions, and the state remains watching? Why? These are not protests against hunger or against economic conditions. This is systematic sabotage. Hence, there must be a firm and resolute decision to address this growing situation, which is increasing and moving from a region to another” PM Diab continued.
“Those who incite, those who fund and those who manage these groups, from inside and outside, must be arrested. If we do not do this, the state itself will lose its prestige and things will get out of hand, then the country will head towards the unknown. Let us act quickly!” Prime Minister Diab concluded.
After discussing conditions, events and security developments by the leaders of the security and military agencies, it was decided to intensify coordination and cooperation between these agencies and exchange information between them to avoid any sabotage acts under the pretext of rightful demands for life and strict non-tolerance with the violators of security and order.
The Council also discussed the consumed quantities of hydrocarbons in the local market and ways to address the imbalance between demand and supply. The ministers of finance, energy, water, economy and trade were tasked to submit the necessary proposal to the Cabinet.
The council kept its decisions secret in accordance with the law”.
Former Minister Al-Aridi:
President Aoun received former Minister, Ghazi Al-Aridi, delegated from the Progressive Socialist Party Chief, Walid Joumblat, and discussed with him current political developments and the situation in the “Jabal” region, in addition to the necessity of cooperation between all political parties in this delicate stage of Lebanese history.
Former Minister Al-Sarraf:
President Aoun also received former Minister, Yaacoub Al-Sarraf, and deliberated with him the needs of the “Akkar” region, especially road conditions and development projects, in addition to the agricultural situation.
The meeting also dealt with economic conditions, and implications on “Akkar” region.—Presidential Press Office