Aoun Sees 'Civil War' Climate as Critics Boycott Meeting

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Aoun Sees 'Civil War' Climate as Critics Boycott Meeting

President Michel Aoun on Thursday warned of an “atmosphere of civil war” during recent unrest in Lebanon and what he described as attempts to stir up sectarian tensions as a financial crisis sweeps the country.

“We touched the atmosphere of civil war in a worrying way. Movements replete with sectarian tensions were launched in a suspicious manner,” Aoun said during the national dialogue meeting in Baabda Palace.

“Lebanese want the central bank to control the dollar exchange rate vis-à-vis the Lebanese pound and to preserve the value of their salaries and savings,” he added.

Many opponents have boycotted the meeting, including PM Saad Hariri, Marada Movement leader Michel Suleiman, Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel as well as others, deeming the talks as a waste of time.

Former Prime Ministers Hariri, Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam stressed that the real threat to stability may come from the deteriorating economic and financial situation.

"This cannot be solved by large meetings that do not have a clear agenda”.