Salam Appeals for Calms to Fend Off Deteriorating Security Situation

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Prime Minister Tammam Salam carried out contacts with the ambassadors of several countries and political and religious leaders to avert the deteriorating situation in Lebanon.

According to An Nahar newspaper published on Monday, Salam contacted the ambassadors of the countries “concerned” with the ongoing developments to urge them to pressure their local allies to prevent the situation from worsening.

The daily reported that the ambassadors of major countries in Lebanon expressed concern over the security situation in Lebanon, calling on prominent political leaders to contain the developments.

The ambassadors reportedly will not intervene more in the Lebanese developments as their countries have priorities.

On Monday, French Ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli revealed after talks with Salam that preparations are underway to kickstart a meeting for the International Support Group for Lebanon on September 26 in New York.

The meeting will be chaired by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The support group was inaugurated in New York in September 2013,on the sidelines of the 68th session of the General Assembly. It undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and state institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country where it was most affected by the Syrian crisis, including in respect of strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces, assistance to refugees, and structural and financial support to the government.

Al-Joumhouria newspaper also reported that Salam, who is tremendously concerned over the developments, called on political and religious leaders to help calm down the situation.

The kidnap and murder of two Lebanese army soldiers by jihadists from Syria has sparked new tensions in Lebanon, including a backlash against Syrian refugees and a string of sectarian kidnappings.

The hostage crisis and beheadings have inflamed tensions in Lebanon, which is hosting more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees, and where tensions were already soaring over the four-year conflict in Syria.

There has been growing resentment by the Lebanese people against the refugees given the recent developments in the country, most notably the abduction of a number of soldiers and policemen by Islamists from the northeastern town of Arsal in August.

Amid the rise in tensions, the authorities have appealed for calm, calling on the Lebanese to refrain from revenge attacks.

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