Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri denied that the Government has been paralyzed in the light of a crisis resulting from a deadly shooting in the Shouf region earlier this month, stressing that he requested to postpone a Cabinet session because of a tense atmosphere.
Following a meeting with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace on Friday, Hariri said: “There is no disruption of the Council of Ministers; I am the one who requested to postpone the [last] Cabinet session because the climate was tense.”
“Nothing will stop the Cabinet sessions,” he underlined. “We must focus on the economy and cease talking politics.”
“What happened cannot be taken for granted,” said Hariri. “But it can be resolved calmly.”
As part of efforts to contain the repercussions of the Shouf shooting, which left two members of the Lebanese Democratic Party dead, Hariri met on Friday with LDP chief MP Talal Arslan and State Minister for Refugee Affairs Saleh Al-Gharib.
Arslan stressed after the meeting that what happened in the Mountain, a term used to refer to areas inhabited by the Druze community in Lebanon, was “unacceptable.”
“The responsibility of the state and its prestige, coexistence and civil peace are all threatened,” he warned.
The shooting earlier has stirred fear of renewed strife among the Druze community in Shouf.
The two slain men were Gharib’s aides. They were killed when supporters of Druze leader and Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblatt were protesting against a planned visit to the area by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.
The PSP has accused Gharib’s bodyguards of opening fire on the protesters, leading to an exchange of fire in which two PSP supporters were also wounded.
Jumblatt on Friday said he was open to “all possible and acceptable solutions” regarding the shootout.