Salam Calls for ‘Full Mobilization’ to Combat Terrorism

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Prime Minister Tammam Salam stressed on Monday the importance of fortifying Lebanon against the spread of extremism in the region, highlighting the need to combat terrorism and elect a new president.

He called for “full mobilization to fight terrorism, which should be a priority for us all.”

He made his remarks during a ceremony at the Grand Serail marking the 94th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Greater Lebanon.

“Combating terrorism will be a long and arduous task. Lebanon has and is still paying the price of the spread of terrorism, the latest of which was in the northeastern town of Arsal,” continued the premier.

Salam stressed the importance of internal unity, fortifying state institutions, and supporting the army in fighting extremists.

He lamented however the lack of unity among politicians, saying it is exposing Lebanon to external dangers.

He attributed the political shortcomings to the failure to implement the Taef Accord, while also stressing the need to adhere to the National Pact and constitution.

“The constitution should be the main guide on how political affairs should be managed,” he declared.

The army waged clashes with Islamists in Arsal in early August.

Dozens of soldiers and gunmen were killed in the unrest that lasted five days.

A ceasefire restored calm to the town and the militants withdrew from the area, but abducted with them a number of soldiers and security forces members.

The development sparked fears of the spread of extremism raging in the region to Lebanon.

Five of the captives were released over the weekend.

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