Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on Sunday joined thousands of people taking part in a rally in support of President Michel Aoun, and called on demonstrators to refrain from accusing everyone of corruption, Lebanese news outlets reported.
Some of the protesters demands are “destructive to the economy” and “uncompromising,” Bassil said, adding that the slogan “everyone means everyone” should be used to hold officials accountable and not for injustice.
A huge convoy of cars, some waving Aoun’s orange Free Patriotic Movement party flags and his portrait snaked across a main highway on Sunday while a sea of protesters marched to Baabda palace.
It was the biggest counter protest to the massive wave of demonstrations that have gripped Lebanon since Oct. 17 and which have included Aoun’s removal among its demands.
“We’re here to say to Aoun that we love you and renew our trust in you,” said Hiyam Khair.
Wearing a shirt with Aoun’s face, George Barbar said he had driven from northern Lebanon to show his support: “If people don’t join hands with the president, there will be no Lebanon,” said Barbar.
A semblance of normality returned to Lebanon this week, with roads re-opening and banks opening to customers on Friday after being shut for two weeks, though restrictions were reported on foreign currency withdrawals and transfers abroad.