22:41 GMT +321 September 2019
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    A picture of Christian politician and FPM founder Michel Aoun is seen on a building prior to presidential elections in Beirut, Lebanon October 30, 2016

    Political Storm Breaks Out in Lebanon Over Controversial Video

    © REUTERS / Mohamed Azakir
    Middle East
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    The leaked video, which emerged Sunday night showing Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil calling the powerful Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri a “thug” in a closed meeting, has caused widespread protests across the country.

    Nabih Berri’s supporters set fire to tires and pictures of Bassil and President Michel Aoun following the leaked video.

    Gibran Bassil is the president’s son-in-law and the dispute comes amid escalating tensions between the president and the parliament speaker.

    The dispute was caused by an alleged decree that promoted a number of Lebanese army officers.

    Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri urged for calm in the country on Monday, saying that, "Lebanon does not need more escalation" and that he would exert all efforts to calm the political rhetoric in the country.

    Berri's political allies, also who lashed out at Bassil, with Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil calling Bassil in a tweet "lowly" and a "political dwarf."

    ​“Hezbollah, an ally of Aoun but also traditionally an ally of Berri's Shiite Amal movement, issued a statement categorically rejecting Bassil's statements. Such statements "do not built a state… but create more crises and disunity,” Star Tribune reported.


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