Saudi urges Lebanese to end Syria-linked fighting

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Saudi Arabia on Thursday urged Lebanon’s people to act “wisely” and end their fighting in the city of Tripoli, wracked by a wave of bloody violence linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Riyadh was following “with deep concern the bloody events taking place in Tripoli... that benefit nobody but those who do not mean well for Lebanon and its people,” said Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Saudi Arabia, a powerhouse in the region, “urges all parties involved to put an end to this fighting and act wisely,” said Prince Saud, quoted by the official SPA news agency.

He voiced the Sunni-dominated kingdom’s support for “strengthening the authority of the Lebanese state and its control over all its territories.”

Riyadh affirmed its “confidence in the Lebanese government’s keenness to take all measures that would preserve security and stability for the Lebanese people in all their sects and beliefs,” said the minister.

A new wave of Syria-linked clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli has killed eight people since the weekend.

The confrontations came after a brief lull, following a flare-up last month in which 31 people died and more than 200 were wounded.

The violence is tied to the conflict in Syria, where a Sunni-led uprising is fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The fighting in Tripoli, which has flared sporadically since the beginning of the Syria conflict in March 2011, has largely been confined to the Alawite-populated Jabal Mohsen and the Sunni Bab el-Tabbaneh.

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