Beirut - The Supreme Defense Council convened today at the Presidential Palace, in a session chaired by President Michel Aoun, and decided to intensify monitoring and prosecution, tightening penalties against violators and smugglers, and to exert all efforts in coordination with agencies concerned to control borders to prevent the smuggling of goods and materials, in addition to the closure of all illegal crossings. It was also decided to devise a comprehensive plan to establish military, security, and customs control centers.
President Michel Aoun had met Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, before the session, and discussed with him the latest health economic and security developments, in addition to the issue of controlling borders and crossings.
The meeting was attended by: Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Zeina Akar, Foreign Affairs Minister, Nassif Hitti, Interior Minister, Mohammed Fahmy, Economy and Trade Minister, Raoul Nehme, Justice Minister, Mary-Claude Najm, Energy Minister, Raymond Ghajar, Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, General Director of Public Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, General Director of Internal Security Forces, Major General Imad Othman, General Director of State Security, Major General Tony Saliba, Secretary General of the Supreme Defense Council, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, Attorney General of Cassation, Judge Ghassan Ouweidat, Governmental Commissioner to the Military Court, Judge Peter Germanos, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Customs, Brigadier Assaad Toufayli, Director General of Customs, Badri Daher, Director of Army Intelligence, Brigadier General Antoine Mansour, Director of Information in the General Directorate of Public Security, Brigadier General Manh Sawaya, head of ISF Information Branch, Brigadier Khaled Hammoud, Assistant Director General of State Security, Brigadier Samir Sannan, General Director of the Presidency, Dr. Antoine Choucair, and the Security and Military Adviser of the President, Brigadier Paul Matar
Major General Al-Asmar:
After the meeting, General Secretary, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, read the meeting statement:
“At the invitation of His Excellency, General Michel Aoun, the Supreme Defense Council held a meeting today, Wednesday 13 May 2020, at 3:30 pm, at the Presidential Palace, to follow up the issue of illegal land border crossings. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Diab and ministers of National Defense, Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Interior and Municipalities, Economy and Trade, Energy and Water, and Justice.
Also attending were: The Army Commander, Attorney General of Discrimination, Director General of the Presidency of the Republic, Director General of Public Security, Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Director General of State Security, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Defense, head of the Supreme Council of Customs and Director General of Customs and Security and Military Adviser to His Excellency the President, Government Commissioner at the Military Court, Director of Military Intelligence, Director of Information in the General Directorate of Public Security, Head of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces, Assistant Director-General of State Security.
His Excellency the President, started the meeting by discussing the situation of illegal land border crossings, and the reflection of the smuggling of goods and materials on public finances. The President also demanded no complacency in this matter and stressed the need to take maximum measures against violators, and the importance of identifying quantities of materials consumed at the national level as a necessary means to control smuggling.
The Prime Minister then presented the financial and economic repercussions, especially on treasury revenues, and discussed the logistical obstacles that prevent control on land borders.
The Army Commander presented the field situation of land borders, especially the status of illegal crossings, and the competent ministers and heads of military, security, and custom apparatuses discussed issues and difficulties that prevent border control.
It was then decided to intensify monitoring and prosecution and tighten sanctions against violators, smugglers and their partners, by all applicable laws in coordination between concerned authorities. This aims to control borders to prevent smuggling of goods and materials and the closure of all illegal crossings.
Finally, it was decided to devise a comprehensive plan to establish military, security and customs control centers, and the Council kept its decisions in secrecy, in implementation of the law”.--Presidency Press Office