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Mansour downplays Syrian violations of Lebanon’s border
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Caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour downplayed Wednesday Syria’s violations of Lebanon’s border, saying relations with Damascus should remain in the context of “sisterly ties.”

“We have strong sisterly ties with Syria and we should never exaggerate these [border] violations,” Mansour told The Daily Star.

“When we deal with Syria, we are doing it in the framework of one [sibling] to another and not a foreign country,” he added.

Asked whether the ministry has sent memos to Syrian authorities over border incidents that have become frequent, Mansour said his ministry sends memos, as does Damascus when its borders are violated.

“Whenever there is a violation, we send a memo and we also receive memos,” he said, denying that he had turned down any request by President Michel Sleiman to lodge complaints to Syria over border incursions.

Mansour has on several occasions come under attack by opposition parties who have accused him of being “Syria’s ambassador” and failing to abide by the country’s policy of disassociation.

The Future Movement has accused Mansour of ignoring instructions from President Michel Sleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to file official complaints to authorities in Damascus over border violations, particularly aerial strikes in east Lebanon.

Last month, Syrian aircraft fired four rockets, which hit vacant buildings in Lebanon, in the first such aerial attack by the regime.

Damascus has urged Beirut to better control its border to cease the smuggling of weapons and gunmen into its territory.

Mansour declined to reveal the contents of the memos his ministry has sent to Syria, saying many of them are related to consular, diplomatic, political and security affairs.


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