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Machnouk: Nasrallah’s Statements Are Out of Track | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk speaks during a news conference at the government palace in Beirut, Lebanon. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

Beirut – Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nouhad al-Machnouk on Thursday said recent statements by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah were off the normal track.

Machnouk was referring to the recent statement made by Nasrallah who threatened to mobilize thousands of foreign fighters from Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, in addition to Lebanon and Palestine, to face any aggression by Israel against Lebanon and Syria.

Following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace, the interior minister affirmed that such a stance “does not imply a sense of national responsibility and does not reflect the government’s viewpoint”.

“This statement gives the impression that we want to import the Syrian conflict to Lebanon,” Machnouk said.

“Instead of mobilizing military forces, let’s mobilize the Lebanese to agree on common issues,” he added.

“We don’t accept such a stance and will prevent it through the power of the law and the state,” he continued.

Commenting on the electoral law, the minister said that several details were currently being discussed by the political blocs, stressing that the elections would be held on time.

“There is no discussion about the timing of elections because the matter has been settled and elections will be held on time. There will certainly be a magnetic card, and we’re making sure in our discussions with the experts to be precise in the implementation process,” he stated.

Briefly, after calling on citizens to report any cheer shootings when announcing the results of official exams on Thursday and stressing that there would be no political cover to protect anyone, one person was killed in Baalbek with a stray bullet during shootings to celebrate a student’s success in the Brevet exams.

On a different note, the interior minister said that he had discussed the issue of Lebanese prisons with Aoun, especially the matter of overcrowding.

“Prisons in Lebanon do not have the capacity to contain the huge number of violators and detainees; however, we’ve been relentlessly working on this file,” he said.