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Jumblatt Visit Opposed

The editor-in-chief of the official newspaper Tishreen warned of street protests if the Syrian government decided to receive Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who had repeatedly accused Damascus of responsibility for political assassinations and unrest in Lebanon, said the Syrian website Informer Syria in a September 1 article.

Samira al-Masalma strongly rejected any future visit by Jumblatt to Syria during a meeting between journalists and the information minister, Mohsen Bilal, the website said.

Masalma threatened to publish again editorials showing treason and conspiracies orchestrated by Jumblatt if he were to be invited to Syria.

Meanwhile, the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper al-Thawra, Asaad Abboud, asked that newspapers be allowed to mention the popular feelings of anger towards Jumblatt in addition to the official political stance.

The other journalists present at the meeting expressed their trust in any decision the political leadership takes regarding the Lebanese leader, the website reported.

Since 2005, Jumblatt had been one of the fiercest anti-Syrian politicians in Lebanon, accusing Syria of assassinating former prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

But he recently distanced himself from the anti-Syrian camp, declaring that he was no longer sure that Damascus was behind the Hariri killing.

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