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Rifi: Tripoli will not become an emirate

BEIRUT |, with agencies - October 13, 2014, 16h48
Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi. Photo taken from his Facebook page.
The Lebanese Minister of Justice, Ashraf Rifi, said Sunday that Tripoli would remain "the second capital of Lebanon" and would not become an emirate.
The second largest Lebanese city, Tripoli is often called the "capital of the north of Lebanon." And for Ashraf Rifi there is no question of that changing, or of the city detaching itself from Lebanon and become an emirate, as certain rumours suggest.

Northern Lebanon is currently subject to frequent incursions of jihadist fighters who fight in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. These Islamist groups carry out attacks in Lebanon where they are trying to destabilize Hezbollah (who fight alongside the Syrian regime), and the Lebanese army that they believe are Hezbollah’s accomplice.

"Information indicating that some of the North will be detached from the rest of the country to be further transformed into an Emirate, are just rumors," Ashraf Rifi, former head of the Internal Security Forces in Lebanon, said. He added, "the regions of Akkar, Tripoli, and Meniyeh Donniyeh, Batroun and Becharre are part of this territory and will remain so forever."

He also denied allegations that clashes took place between the Lebanese army and Tripoli residents, insisting that the security plan put in place for the region is being carried out without obstacles.

Meeting on the situation in Tripoli

Ashraf Rifi participated on Sunday in a meeting with several other ministers and MPs to discuss the latest developments in Lebanon and especially in Tripoli. The meeting, MP Samir Jisr’s residence in Tripoli.

According to the statement issued after the meeting, the attendees denounced the "suspicious" and recurrent aggressions against the Lebanese army, saying that the attacks were designed to fuel conflict at home and drive a wedge between the military and the people of Tripoli.

Officials also said that Tripoli and its inhabitants were in solidarity with the various military and security institutions. They then expressed their commitment to the security plan that allowed the end of hostilities in the city, claiming that the plan was sufficient for overcoming any security issues.

They also called for the prosecution and arrest of suspicious individuals who attacked army posts.

While denouncing the media hype about the security situation in Tripoli, they explained that terrorist cells would be fought with preventive security, not and through the media.

The attendees finally reported that it is economic growth that will put an end to the chaos in Tripoli.
#Lebanon, #Politics
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