Hariri chairs security meeting: Protect churches during Easter and protesters tomorrow while preventing roads blocking

NNA – The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri chaired this afternoon at the Grand Serail a security meeting attended by the Minister of Interior and Municipalities Nouhad Machnouk, the Minister of Defense Yacoub Sarraf, Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Director General of the Internal Security Forces Imad Othman, Head of State Security Tony Saliba, Secretary General of the Higher Council for Defense Saadallah al-Hamad, Head of Army Intelligence Tony Mansour and Head of the ISF Information Branch Brigadier General Khaled Hammoud.

Hariri asked the security and military forces to be alert during Easter celebrations just as was the case during Christmas and New Year’s feasts and focus on protecting the churches.

Regarding the possible popular protests, Hariri asked the security apparatus to avoid any friction and to focus on protecting the protesters and preventing roads blocking to avoid the disruption of the movement of citizens.

After the meeting, Minister Machnouk said: “Starting tomorrow the security forces will be fully alerted in all worship places to avoid any breach. As for the call for protests tomorrow, it has been agreed to protect the freedom of expression but there is a clear decision to prevent the blocking of roads and attacks on public and private properties.”

He added: “It is clear that Prime Minister Hariri is keen on the freedom of expression on one hand and on achieving security for all the Lebanese on the other. All the military apparatus are ready to prevent any incident whether during the holidays or during tomorrow’s possible protests.”

In response to a question regarding tomorrow’s parliamentary session, Machnouk explained that contact are still ongoing and it is clear that all efforts are positive and could reach a result after the President’s message tonight.