The Foreign Ministry building witnessed pandemonium on Monday after the Ministry’s secretary general, Hani Chemaitelly, tried to bar the outgoing deputy PM and defense and foreign minister, Zeina Akar, from entering a department containing the telegrams that come from abroad.
Sources close to Akar told local newspapers that the outgoing minister “wanted to bid farewell to the employees there and to thank them.”
“But Chemaitelly demanded the closure of doors in her face and asked her not to take to the employees except in his presence, arguing against a so-called constitutional violation,” the sources added.
“He rejected her request to open the door three times, which prompted the minister to ask her bodyguards to open the door and not break it as has been claimed, knowing that the door was already damaged by the blast explosion,” the sources explained.
Sources close to Chemaitelly meanwhile said that he was beaten up along with two ministry employees at the hands of Akar’s bodyguards, who are army personnel.
“The secretary general was personally assaulted and there are visible bruises on his body. He later received an apology from the army personnel who were accompanying Akar and he forgives them, but he is preparing to file a direct lawsuit against Akar over the unprecedented attack at the Foreign Ministry,” the sources added, noting that Chemaitelly was transferred to the Clemenceau Medical Center for treatment.
Akar later commented on the controversy and noted that she was still the country’s acting foreign minister when the incident happened, seeing as no handover had been made with the new foreign minister, Abdallah Bou Habib.
“He insisted on intercepting me and then started filming,” Akar added, noting that it was normal for her bodyguards to refuse that she be filmed.
“Everything Chemaitelly did was illegal, starting by the interception of the tour at the ministry to the filming, which turned out to be premeditated, the thing that points to his intention to stir a problem,” Akar went on to say.