Ex-Lebanon president urges end to extremists’ ‘slaughter of humans’

‘The world must fight terrorism to stop an extremist phenomenon that is killing the world and humanity,” Michel Sleiman says

Shounaz Meky

Published: Updated:

Former Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on Sunday urged member states of the United Nations to act against the “slaughter of humans” at the hands of extremist groups that have swept across parts of the Middle East.

“[The world must] fight terrorism to stop an extremist phenomenon that is killing the world and humanity and slaughtering humans before the eyes of people,” he said.

“This is unacceptable and the world must act effectively to eradicate this scary phenomenon.”

The former head of state also called on the United Nations and in particular the five veto-wielding members to address the basic rights of Palestinians that are being undermined by Israel.

“Palestinians need to be granted their rights and the Israeli injustice and discrimination against Palestinians must end,” Sleiman said.

The former Lebanese president made the remarks during his opening speech as a guest of honor of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2015) held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The forum aims to build a platform for better communication between governments and their stakeholders.

Sleiman praised the forum saying it was a step in looking at the different tools of communication between people and their governments.

He said “changes have forced governments to face the challenges of globalization,” where “media has canceled the role of mediators to tell [people] what is going on.”

He later expanded on his remarks saying that opening opportunities for dialogue through such events are what portray a good picture of religious harmony in the Middle East at a time of extremism.

Sleiman’s presidential term lasted from May 2008 to May 2014, a period seen as very challenging to Lebanon due to internal and regional political turbulence.

It has been eight months since the end of Sleiman's term and a new head of state has yet to be elected.

Lebanon has been struggling to elect a president since last May. A lack of consensus in the deeply divided parliament has led to a presidential vacuum that is seen to be driven by domestic and foreign factors.

IGCF 2015 is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, UAE supreme council member and ruler of Sharjah.

This year’s forum hosts several prominent leaders, including former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and United Nations diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi.

The forum runs from Feb 22 to Feb. 23 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, under the theme “Specific Actions ... Better Results.”