FM: Lebanon’s stability ‘isn’t a game’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Monday stated that Lebanon would be the focus of discussions between President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi monarch Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz at a scheduled conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday.

According to the foreign minister, Cairo and Riyadh continue to coordinate policy with regard to Lebanon.

Aboul-Gheit, speaking to foreign correspondents in Ugandan capital Kampala, stressed that Egypt supported the objectives of the international tribunal tasked with investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, insisting that the perpetrators must be brought to justice. “Lebanon’s stability is not a game to be played with,” he declared.

Developments in Lebanon “are extremely important to Egypt, which is concerned about Lebanon and its stability,” he added. “We don’t want anything to threaten the civil peace there.”

Asked about recent tensions in Lebanon due to the tribunal’s activities, the foreign minister said, “I think that it is in the interest of all Lebanese to remain calm… and to avoid what threatens their society, stability and civil peace.”

“Hinting at the use of force inside Lebanon, by whatever party, is not acceptable,” Aboul-Gheit declared, adding that Lebanon “must not become a place to settle regional or international disputes.”

Regarding the Hariri tribunal, the foreign minister said: “Egypt followed the formation and progress of the international tribunal from the beginning…and we believe in the objectives of the tribunal and the necessity of knowing the truth and punishing the perpetrators.” 

He added that the tribunal “is necessary so that Lebanon will never again be overcome by waves of political assassinations.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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