Lebanon to complain to UN about Israeli violation of airspace

In this photo released by Lebanon's official government photographer Dalati Nohra, Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, right, and Spanish Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf, left, listen to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, speaking to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, in this Aug. 30, 2017 photo. (AP)
Updated 10 September 2017

Lebanon to complain to UN about Israeli violation of airspace

BEIRUT: Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has directed his country’s permanent representative to the UN to file an “urgent complaint against Israel for breaching Lebanese airspace.”
Israel this week admitted carrying out “a raid against targets on Syrian territory from Lebanese airspace.”
Lebanon’s Higher Defense Council, chaired by President Michel Aoun, met on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri, other ministers and heads of the security forces. The council directed Bassil to submit a complaint to the UN Security Council.
“The presentation made by the security leaders during the meeting of the council confirmed that the Israelis used Lebanese airspace to launch a raid on Syria,” Interior Minister Nohad Al-Mashnouq told Arab News.
“It’s normal for Lebanon to lodge a complaint to the Security Council because we don’t accept any strike from Lebanese airspace, whether from the Israelis or anyone else. Strikes will exacerbate the situation without any valid justification. Lebanon should play no part in the ongoing regional tension.”
State Minister for Combatting Corruption Nicolas Tueni said in a statement: “The Israeli enemy using Lebanese airspace to launch its raids is a clear violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
He added: “What the enemy has done is mainly to evade Russian air defenses; it is another attempt to drag Lebanon into the midst of wars in the region and an attempt to undermine the victories of our army and our slain soldiers.
“It is living proof of Israeli violence, knowing that Lebanon and its people have defeated the enemy several times which led to the collapse of Israeli military deterrence forces. The Israeli leaders will not dare to venture again into Lebanon.”
Meanwhile, a meeting was held between the commander in chief of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Gen. Michael Perry, and the heads of the municipalities of villages in Tyre.
He said UNIFIL is “working day and night” to defuse tensions along the Lebanese-Israeli border, “in cooperation with our colleagues and strategic partners in the Lebanese Army.”
The American Embassy in Lebanon said the US Central Command’s director of strategy, plans and policy, Maj. Gen. George Smith, met with Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun and congratulated the army on its recent success in border operations against militants.
Smith “met with senior Lebanese military counterparts to discuss areas of cooperation to further develop the army’s capabilities as the sole defender of Lebanese territory and Lebanese borders,” the embassy said in a statement.


Egypt urges decisive action against states backing ‘terror’

Updated 11 December 2019

Egypt urges decisive action against states backing ‘terror’

  • El-Sisi was apparently referring to Turkey and Qatar
  • Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula

CAIRO: Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.
The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.
Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.
The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the US, Britain and Canada.
The Sahel region is home to Al-Qaeda and Daesh-linked militants. El-Sisi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.
Egypt has for years been battling a Daesh-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Mursi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.
Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.
Since Mursi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.
El-Sisi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Muammar Qaddafi. He did not elaborate.
He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”
El-Sisi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.
El-Sisi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.
Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.
Haftar has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital. He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy.