Suleiman: I Advised Assad Not to Ignore His People’s Demands
President Michel Suleiman stated on Friday that Lebanon’s position at the United Nations Security Council on the developments in Syria “does not place it in a compromising position,” revealing that he encouraged Syrian President Bashar Assad to pave the way for democracy.
He told MTV in an interview: “I advised him against ignoring his people’s demands.”
“I heard positive statements on this issue while at the U.N. General Assembly,” he added.
Lebanon, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, is currently heading its regular session.
On August 3, it chose to “disassociate” itself from a Security Council statement condemning the Syrian regime’s crackdown against anti-regime protests, explaining that such a stand will not help end the crisis there.
Suleiman stressed: “Presidents who do not stay ahead of reform will pay the price for it.”
“Lebanon supports democracy and democratic change and we prefer that it takes place peacefully,” he continued from New York where he was taking part in the U.N. General Assembly.
Furthermore, the president said that he had no evidence that some Lebanese powers are meddling in Syria’s internal affairs.
“The situation in Syria does not have to have repercussions on Lebanon,” he noted.
On the developments in Lebanon, he said: “The government is not completely unified, but it unites when it comes to issues such as the electricity and oil files.”
“The government was formed in Lebanon and given the current electoral system, my only choice is a national unity government,” Suleiman stated.
“Lebanon is not selective in committing to international obligations and regardless of the circumstances, it is committed to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon,” he added.
“The government does not need to get embroiled in a dispute over this issue,” he noted.