Lebanon’s President, Michel Suleiman, said on Thursday that arms in the country are hindering national accord. “The problem of arms in the country hinders national accord, as their purpose is not determined,” said Suleiman in a televised address on the eve of Lebanon’s independence celebrations. Suleiman continued: “We should not speak of independence unless the state is the sole possessor of arms.”

Concerning the Syrian refugee crisis, the president stressed that “the Lebanese state will not spare any efforts to save the country from this impending danger.” “A conference for donor countries will be held at the beginning of the new year to discuss sharing the burden of Syrian refugees,” he added. Lebanon has had difficulty dealing with the increasing number of refugees fleeing Syria’s violent uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which has killed over 120,000 people. [Now]