Lebanese army separates rival protests near president palace

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Protesters chant slogans and strike a drum during an anti-government demonstration in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on December 1, 2019. (AFP)
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A protester holds up a sign during an anti-government demonstration in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on December 1, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2019

Lebanese army separates rival protests near president palace

  • Anti-government protesters had called for a rally outside the Presidential Palace to press Aoun to formally begin the process of forming a new govt

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s armed forces have deployed near the presidential palace east of Beirut to prevent friction between rival Lebanese protesters as the stalemate over forming a crisis government continues. 
Anti-government protesters had called for a rally Sunday outside the Presidential Palace in Baabda to press President Michel Aoun to formally begin the process of forming a new government. Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned over a month ago amid nationwide protests accusing the political elite of corruption and mismanagement of the economy.
The call prompted a counter-rally by supporters of Aoun who called him a “red line.” Army soldiers formed a human chain to separate the groups on a highway leading to the palace, preventing clashes.
Meanwhile, hundreds of anti-government protesters marched toward central Beirut amid a deepening economic crisis.


Egypt slams Turkish minister’s remarks after refusing dialogue with Ankara

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry. (AFP)
Updated 4 min ago

Egypt slams Turkish minister’s remarks after refusing dialogue with Ankara

  • Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had responded to previous calls from Ankara over the necessity of improved dialogue with Egypt, stressing that Egypt was monitoring Turkish actions and statements to assess the viability of discussions

CAIRO: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has condemned derogatory remarks made by the Turkish foreign minister, days after a Turkish attempt to open a dialogue with Egypt was rejected by Cairo.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Hafez, denounced the foreign minister’s comments made in a conversation with a local TV channel, and said talking about Egypt in such a tone showed a lack of sincerity in Ankara’s efforts to seeking to create relations based on respect.

These developments came hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul “we have no objection to dialogue with Egypt” on Friday.

Sources revealed that Ankara had contacted Cairo several times requesting a meeting between the two countries’ security officials over events in the Mediterranean. Egypt, however, refused over Cairo’s reservations about Turkey’s incursion into Libya, as well as its links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had responded to previous calls from Ankara over the necessity of improved dialogue with Egypt, stressing that Egypt was monitoring Turkish actions and statements to assess the viability of discussions. For now, he suggested, such talks were impossible on account of Turkey’s foreign policies.

“The policies that we see from the military presence on Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan soil, and the existing tension in the eastern Mediterranean, all indicate destabilizing expansionist policies in the region, and therefore cannot lead to dialogue and the start of a new page.

“The matter is not (one for) what is declared (by Turkey) but by actions and policies that promote stability, and are consistent with the rules of international relations and international legitimacy, which are of interest to us at this stage,” Shoukry said.

A few days ago, Shoukry confirmed that Turkish activity in many Arab countries represented the most significant emerging threat to Arab national security, stressing that Egypt would not remain idle in the face of these challenges.

In a speech before the Arab Ministerial Committee on Turkish interventions within the framework of the League of Arab States Council’s 154th regular session, he added that Egypt opposed Turkish ambitions manifesting themselves in northern Iraq, Syria and Libya in particular.