E’ passato appena un mese dal 4 agosto 2020, data in cui 2.750 tonnellate di nitrato di ammonio abbandonate all’interno dell’area portuale di Beirut sono esplose causando un impatto così violento da essere registrato persino dall’isola di Cipro, a circa 240 chilometri dalla capitale del Libano. Il bilancio è disastroso, in termini di vite si contano più di 200 morti e migliaia di feriti, e inoltre, come se non bastasse, l’esplosione dell’area portuale, centro economico della città, ha peggiorato ulteriormente la situazione economica del Paese, ufficialmente in crisi dagli inizi di marzo, quando il premier Diab aveva dichiarato default, ma la cui precarietà ha radici ben più lontane. E da qui nell’arco di questo mese la classe politica ha quindi ceduto alle forti pressioni del popolo libanese, comportando così le dimissioni in blocco del governo alcuni giorni dopo l’esplosione; infatti il 10 agosto lo stesso Hassan Diab, primo ministro in carica da appena sette mesi, ha rassegnato le dimissioni dell’esecutivo di fronte al Presidente Michel Aoun, aggravando ulteriormente l’instabilità del Paese, che oramai non riesce più a garantire ai propri cittadini servizi essenziali come l’alimentazione, una carenza peraltro esacerbata dal disastro che ha distrutto circa l’85% delle scorte nazionali di cereali. Continue reading “La Francia dei Cedri a un mese dal disastro di Beirut” »
The Future bloc hoped that the one month delay given by article 59 of the Lebanese Constitution would pave the way for finding a new electoral law enjoying a national formula based and relying on the essential codes of Taef, hence a law able to boost national unity and coexistence. The bloc’s stance came Tuesday in the context of its regular weekly meeting under the chairmanship of former PM Fouad Siniora in Beit Al Wasat in Beirut. The Future condemned and deplored the crime that happened yesterday in Qob Elias, saying that all punishments should take place in this regard under the state context.
In a press release by UNIFIL, it said: “UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Michael Beary today met separately with the Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut”. Release added: “In both meetings, the UNIFIL head thanked the Lebanese leaders for their continued support to UNIFIL in the fulfillment of its mandate in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1701 (2006), while noting that Lebanon’s continued commitment to the UN resolution is critical”. Major General Beary briefed the leaders on the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations (AO) and along the Blue Line, further stating that the situation remains calm and stable. He said that UNIFIL has, over the past months, increased its outreach to the local population as well as intensified engagement with local leaders and communities in the Mission’s ongoing efforts to preserve the calm environment and stability.
Italian Minister of Defense, Roberta Pinotti, on Monday winded up her state visit in Lebanon, and held a news conference at the VIP Hall at Beirut international airport, whereby she tackled the outcome of her meetings with the top Lebanese officials. In response to a question on Italy’s concern over a likely escalation between Hezbollah and Israel, Pinotti said highlighted the importance of the UNIFIL “in order to prevent the recurrence of similar escalation between the Lebanese and the Israelis”. Regarding the Syrians’ displacement to Lebanon, Pinotti maintained that “the international community must recognize the efforts undertaken by the Lebanese government in that respect, especially that Lebanon has hosted great numbers of displaced Syrians, in addition to the Palestinian refugees who are already present in Lebanon”.
The Italian Embassy in Beirut said in a statement, on Sunday, that Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti will start a visit to Lebanon this evening. Pinotti is expected to meet with President Michel Aoun, House Speaker Nabih Berri and Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf, in the presence of Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun. Pinotti will also be checking on her country’s contingent operating within the framework of the international peacekeeping forces in South Lebanon. Before leaving for Rome on Monday, the Italian Defense Minister will hold a press conference at 5:30 p.m. at Rafic Hariri International Airport’s Honor Hall.
Hundreds of Fatah Movement fighters are receiving military teachings and combat lessons in the Palestinian refugee camp of al-Rashidieh in the southern town of Tyre. “The activity which has been going on for a year now, is carried out with the cognition of the Lebanese Security Forces. The matter was thoroughly discussed during the recent visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Beirut in February, through Palestinian Authority security chief Majid Faraj who spoke at length in that regard with General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim and senior army intelligence officers,” added the source.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to visit Beirut in the next days, amid reports that France will provide Lebanon with military assistance after Saudi Arabia halted its grant last year. The French minister’s visit affirms that France is going to support Lebanon’s military agencies after Saudi Arabia halted a Lebanese army grant in 2016.France has developed a plan that will be put into implementation the current year. It will see the reinforcement of Lebanon’s security forces to counter terrorism. In February 2016 Saudi Arabia halted a $3 billion program for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hizbullah’s policies and diplomatic stances by the Lebanese foreign ministry. The $3 billion program financed military equipment provided by France.
General Security agents arrested overnight in the Choueifat area a Syrian young man suspected of plotting to carry out an act of terror. “The detainee was working as a delivery boy for one of the restaurants and he was plotting to prepare an explosive device”. On Wednesday, General Security announced the arrest of two Islamic State-linked men suspected of planning a suicide attack in central Beirut, confirming earlier media reports. The arrests come two weeks after an attempted suicide attack at Hamra’s Costa cafe. He “confessed that he monitored the movements and addresses of political figures and their convoys crossing the city center,” General Security said in its statement on Wednesday. He had worked with a Palestinian operative to plan a suicide attack in the center of the capital, it said.