Lebanese rejections for Sharon's allegations on sheltering al-Qaida members
Lebanon-Israel, Politics, 12/7/2002
Lebanon strongly rejected allegations by the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on the existence of member of al-Qaida organization in Lebanon.
The Lebanese President Emil Lahoud said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli accusations are void, considering that these allegations "hide" aggressive intentions towards Lebanon."
On a statement issued by the Lebanese presidency, Lahoud said that such Israeli accusations will be no more convincing, following the moves carried out by Beirut before with the Arab and friendly countries to explain it position regarding this case. He stressed there is no presence for al-Qaida in Lebanon, nor any coordination or cooperation between it and the Lebanese national resistance.
The Lebanese president explained that statements by the Israeli prime minister fall in the framework of using the current environment in order to divert the attention from the continued Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people. He stressed Lebanon's ability to withstand the Israeli provocation.
To this effect, the Lebanese defense minister stressed on Thursday that his country rejects any status or form of al-Qaida organization on its territories. In a radio statement, the Lebanese minister explained that the Lebanese government has succeeded in controlling many terrorist acts and this was made in security coordination with several Arab and foreign countries especially with the USA.
Two Lebanese and one Saudi were arrested in Lebanon in October on charges of forming a terrorist organization and supporting al-Qaida organization. The trial of the three men will start on December 16.
Repeatedly, the Lebanese Hizbullah party which rejected any relations with al-Qaida, refused to comment on Sharon's statements.
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