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Lebanon awaits army report on airspace violation by Syrian jets: FM

English.news.cn   2013-12-31 18:13:03            

BEIRUT, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Tuesday that his country is waiting for the army to provide details about a Syrian violation of the Lebanese airspace on Monday, describing the Syrian fighter jets as "friendly" and not "hostile."

In remarks to the Al Joumhouria daily, Mansour said: "We should find out the truth. We are waiting for the army leadership to provide us with the details and the available information so that we could deal with this issue based on the security agreements signed between the two countries away from politics."

The Lebanese army fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country's airspace on Monday, the first time Lebanon has done so since Syria's uprising broke out nearly three years ago.

According to local sources, the military fired anti-aircraft guns at warplanes after the latter fired missiles in a mountainous, barren area close to Lebanon's northeastern border town of Arsal.

Mansour added "the Lebanese territories should not be threatened by Syria and the other way around."

He called for resolving the issue through the "historic and brotherly ties that link the two states away from tension, narrow interests, hatred and accusations."

He stressed "Monday's incident does not affect the nature of relations between the neighboring countries."

In a response, caretaker Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said the army was acting on the government's orders. The military "has clear and sufficient orders from the political authorities to respond" to such attacks, he said in a televised interview on Monday.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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