Suleiman: Only Parliament can extend my mandate

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Suleiman: Only Parliament can extend my mandate

Post by Admin on Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:28 am

Lebanese
Armed Forces (LAF) commander General Michel Suleiman on Thursday
refused to have his mandate extended after his term expires on August
21. In an interview with Al-Afkar magazine to be published Friday,
Suleiman said the extension of his term could only be passed through
Parliament.


He added that any candidate for Lebanon's presidency needed to be consensual, even if it left him out of the picture.

The
army chief also told Al-Afkar that US Assistant Secretary of State
David Welch's visit to Beirut last week aimed at discussing support for
the LAF, including their need for weapons and equipment


Regarding
Sunday's shootout in Zahle, Suleiman said that the incident had not
been premeditated, adding that the army was working to locate the
perpetrators.


Phalange
party activists Nasri Marouni and Salim Assi were shot dead last Sunday
night following the inauguration of the party's new headquarters in the
Bekaa Valley town of Zahle. The gunman was identified as Joseph Zouki,
a supporter of Zahle opposition MP Elie Skaff.

Suleiman
said the military was united and guaranteed the prevention of civil war
"after it established its credibility in the recent security events
which have shaken Lebanon."


The
army chief added that the LAF was ready to face any renewed Israeli
aggression, adding that army patrols in Southern Lebanon were routine.
"I have set up a permanent camp near Rmeish and spend one night there
every month with part of the army staff there to remain up to date and
give guidance and instruction," he added.



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